Parents and community members are always welcome at school. If you can share your time and talents in the classroom, we welcome all families and interests. We will work with you to feel comfortable and to design what you will be doing to support the classrooms. Working with students is only one of the options; we also have preparation of materials, copying, and planning events, and more. Your child's teacher will work with you to determine the best fit for your situation and classroom needs. If you would like to volunteer at Cathcart, please contact a teacher or the school office to get the background check forms. All volunteers must complete a Washington State Patrol I.D. check. Submit these to the office. Once you are set up through this background check, and have made arrangements with the teacher, you are ready to begin. Please sign in and out at the office each time you visit our school. You will also need to wear a volunteer/visitor badge at all times while on campus. This helps us to know who is on campus.
Once you have become a school volunteer, here are some general guidelines for working in the classroom that will support the classroom and make your experience a positive one.
The general rule of thumb is to be a role model so that kids see you modeling expected behaviors and interacting respectfully in the classroom.
- Please recognize and accept that learning is a journey and students are at different places. Be positive and supportive of their learning process. You can help them take the next step in their learning.
- Please be mindful that children feel your judgment even if you don’t say it out loud. Be mindful of your facial expressions and side comments.
- Please come in quietly, as a lesson or teaching is likely in progress.
- Please listen when the teacher is speaking. We encourage you to engage students as you work with them, but when the teacher requests attention, please model that with students.
- When working in a classroom, confidentiality is extremely important. Please don’t talk about students with anyone other than the teacher. If you see something that you are concerned about, we encourage you to seek out the teacher.
- While you are in the classroom, please don’t have your cell phone out. Especially, please do not take pictures of students with your cell phone.
- You will not always be working with your own child. Please be willing to support the teacher’s needs in the moment.
- Please be aware that the teacher will not have time for extended conversations with you during class time. He or she needs to stay focused on the students.
- When you have scheduled a time for volunteering, please be on time. Often, we’ve arranged to give directions at the start time so that parent volunteers will also know what’s happening. If parents miss this introduction, it can be hard for the teacher to find space to fill them in.
- We understand that things come up, but if you are unable to make scheduled volunteer time, please let the teacher know through e-mail.
- The volunteer needs shift as students move into older grades. Because the learning needs change, the support structures change as well. Please trust the teacher to determine volunteer arrangements, but also ask questions if you have them.