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I am PTA President and my principal has asked for our help in trying to direct a parent that is TOO involved in the classroom. They have taken our charge to come help out at school a little too much to heart, and spend the whole day there in the classroom with their child. We are in search of positive ways to redirect this parents' energy. I have thought of giving the parent a 'program' to run that gets her out of the classroom but still involved in school. Nothing can convince her that she is actually hurting, not helping, her child by being this ever-present. We are in search of literature, in particular, that suggests that too much involvement is not good.

Tags: involvement, parental

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Oh, I think she (the Principal) is doing that. She is not asking us to be the bad guy here. She just asked if we knew of any resources/literature that could be provided to the parent from a respectable source like the PTA.
The teacher could have activites that the Parent needs to do out in the hall or in the work work room or teachers lounge to get her out of the class. The teacher should have set up a policy at the begining on how much time a parent can spend in the classroom and what the parent's duites are when they are in the classroom. The teacher could let this parent know that other parents want to be involved in the classroom as well, but too many parents in the classroom are a distraction to the kids. The teacher could implement a sign up sheet for helping with activities and if she does not need help, she should just let the Parent know she appreciates her willingness to help and see if there is another teacher without a parent helper who could really use some help.
I am the PTSA President at my daughters school and I"AM very involved I have been for a very long time. I delegate myself to doing other things at the school. First of all being a parent myself i can understand the mother being involved in her child education process and frankly speaking as long as she is doing other things in the classroom to help the teacher other than focusing on her child I don"t see anything that is wrong with this. Second of all at my children school I spread myself around I help out in all areas wherever I am most needed, I really don"t have time to be in there classroom because I have 485 other children that I am truly dedicated too. There are other things that the Principal even the teacher can find for the Parent to do such as volunteering in the office answering the phone and running off copies for other teachers and finally solicting partners for the PTA.
Projects that get her out of the classroom would be good.

If all the teachers in her child's grade asked her, would she be willing to do copying or laminating, etc. for the whole grade level at once? Or maybe rotate between the different classrooms on her child's grade level to help with small groups?

Could the librarian use some help with reshelving books?

What kind of things does she seem to be good at or enjoy doing?
Ask her to help out in another classroom that needs her much more. Maybe ask her in front of her childs teacher who can renforce how much the other teacher needs her and state a time of the day that she is needed least. Once the mom bonds with the other kids, the time there can be increased or she can be asked to help elsewhere also. If she is resistant get other people to borrow her for very short times until she feels a part of the whole school. She could turn out to be a real gem. This must be done gentley or this parent will leave and never return. Help her find where she will fit in long term. She may have teaching skills that can be used in many other ways. She may be a free para when your school loses their funds. Engage her before she feels the resistance and moves on with bad feelings.


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