Reflections of a First Time Room Parent

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Late last summer when the email came out requesting parents/guardians to sign up for a Room Parent position, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. There was only one position left in my son’s 5K class, out of the two slots available, and I didn’t want to lose it…

It was only after I hit submit that I considered what was all involved in Room Parenting.

I read and reread the Room Parent responsibilities email that had been sent out by the Room parent coordinator. It didn’t seem too hard, the main responsibilities were to support the classroom teacher (cut, sort, copy, etc.), execute three classroom parties, and coordinate teacher gifts/appreciation.

While I was super excited about the creative side of Room Parenting, I was nervous about crafting emails, including other parents where possible, budgeting, etc.

Thankfully, my Co-Room Parent had previous Room Parent experience! She knew her stuff and had template Room Parent emails, so I followed her lead. To make things even better, our personalities clicked which made all of the planning and execution a lot of fun.

Here are some of the successes from our year so far:

  • Go Digital: We stuck to email communication with the teacher and families.
  • One Big Ask: Instead of asking families for money throughout the year, we asked for a set amount at the beginning. (Giving was optional.) Knowing the total funds we had to work with, were were able to budget for parties, teacher gifts, etc.
  • Classroom Contact List: With the help of the teacher, we were able to create a class contact spreadsheet so families could get in touch with one another.
  • Pinterest Board: One of the first things I did after signing up to be a Room Parent was create a Pinterest Board for party craft and game ideas.
  • Divide and Conquer: We split duties for much of the party planning and email sending. For other matters, we made sure to touch base (especially before making a ‘major’ decision) with a quick text for call.
  • Keep Costs Down: As much as possible, I reused or repurposed items I had at home. I also had great luck at the Dollar Tree.

I am incredibly grateful for the experience I had as a Room Parent. I feel especially lucky because I was able to attend all three classroom parties.

Seeing the joy on my son’s face when I’d walk in the room for a Room Parent event made all of the effort I put in worth it. It was also great to see him interact with his classmates and get to know his teacher.

Do you have any advice, tips, or tricks for being a room parent? I’d love to hear them!

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Jaclynn knows a good thing when she sees it, that’s why she and her husband, Dave, decided to raise their son and daughter in Brookfield, the same Milwaukee suburb where they grew up. After earning her English degree from UW-Madison, Jaclynn attended Marquette University Law School and worked for several years at a small Milwaukee firm practicing estate planning and elder law. When her son was born a few year ago, she followed her heart and became a SAHM. She is now the mother of two, having welcomed a daughter last June. When she's not managing her family circus, you can find Jaclynn instructing or taking classes at the Barre Code. Jaclynn would be lost without dessert, family friendly breweries, books, comfy pants, and the moms who have helped her navigate the labyrinth that is ‘momming’.

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