Do you help in your child’s class?


I help with reading in Ellie’s class on Tuesday’s (with Jasper in tow) and Thursdays. Last Thursday, on returning home to a sick James he asked me how it had gone to which I replied (possibly in a melodramatic manner); “They crushed my soul.”

I put my hand up to help with story writing on a Thursday in first term as I thought it would be lovely to help, to see Ellie in class, I love ‘story writing’ and that it would be a great way to get to know Ellie’s class mates. And, it has been, but it has also been a real struggle and, an eye opener. At the start of last term story writing changed days and my slot became reading groups and was asked to come on Tuesdays, too, as a way of following on.

I hate to admit it, I am so torn about helping out. I know (especially now, having been in the classroom) that my being there is appreciated by the teachers and that these activities are so much harder without helpers. I love getting to know Ellie’s friends (and children she’s not so close to) and am always happy when they want to tell me things. I am thrilled when children are making headway and I can follow along with their growth.

And yet, sometimes, I find myself dreading it. One of the things I have come to realise is that School Phobia doesn’t go away. Some days I walk through the gate and am hit by pure anxiety. Schools have a ‘smell’. It’s hard to explain, but I hope that you all know what I am talking about. Sometimes, that smell just sets me off and I would rather do anything other than walk into a classroom full of spirited children. Thankfully, I now have the self awareness to know what’s going on and the tools to calm myself down as I walk slowly up the path.

I am pretty sure that if I walked into the classroom in a panic, the children would feed off it and eat me alive. The little angels.

Another thing being a parent helper has taught me is that kids at school are full on. Full. On. They’re busy, stimulated, egged on, trying to be heard. Multiplying one child by 40 is crazy and overwhelming.

I think, what it’s coming down to is that I am tired. As an introvert, I need some quiet time quite often to refresh and reset. It’s just not happening. Especially now that I am also spending Sundays in a hall with other dance mums for dance rehearsals. I won’t get started on that, though, because ARGH.

I get up in the morning and feel so overwhelmed before I’ve done anything. I think I need to find a little of that quiet.

Do you help in your child’s class?
Do you have a contrary relationship with helping or are you on top of it?
Are you spending your weekends at dance rehearsal, too?



  1. I think it is wonderful that you give 2 mornings each week to helping. And I just know that you would be very much appreciated by the teachers. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to get past your anxiety and be able to disguise it from everyone. Must be nice to get home though, it really would get exhausting mentally. #teamIBOT

  2. I parent help on Tuesdays and I love it – I can only two Tues or Thur as are the days the boys are in daycare, I hope to keep doing next year, esp when No.2 goes to Kinder – you are a legend for doing something so out of your comfort zone. Hugs 🙂 And I bet your darlings are so proud to see you there, I know mine is.

  3. My kids aren’t in school yet, but I do look forward to the day when I can help in the classroom. I bet the teachers love your assistance and the kids would love you being there too. I hope you find some time for yourself to have some quiet time. 🙂

  4. I’m not able to help at the girls’ school in any capacity as they have an OSH induction thingie which you must attend each year in order to be allowed to volunteer. I did it last year, but they only sessions this year were in the early evening at the start of the year and that’s the time of day our house goes feral. It really bugs me, I’d love to be able to help!

  5. As a class teacher I welcome parent helpers. I know how much the children enjoy it ( and not jus your child). . I appreciate th time helpers give and he skills they bring. I once took long service leave to be a parent helper and canteen mum at the insistence of my kids. The canteen especially did my head in when kids produced a collection of coins with the question , “What can I buy?”. As soon as I lsted the options hey invariably asked or something too expensive. I was pleased to be back at work haha.

  6. My boys aren’t at school yet but I’ll definitely help out – but that’s just the extrovert in me. I think you’re amazing for handling 40 little people. I have two and I often feel that they’re crushing my soul!

  7. I used to love helping in the kids’ classrooms until Max and Arabella grew into 2nd and 3rd graders who didn’t seem to need classroom help anymore and Lottie wasn’t managing with me coming in once a week (she struggles to separate in the mornings too), so I had to give it up. I loved it because spending time with young children learning is the most wonderful thing. x

  8. I don’t know how the teachers do it! I couldn’t! I don’t help out at present as I have 6 and 2 are still at home. Maybe in future… As for helping at kinder – no way! I even told the teachers I work to get out of it! Does that make me a bad Mum?!
    I worked in a prestigious private school in Melb for a year. I hated it! I felt like I was back at school and some of the teachers brought back so many school memories that weren’t good! LOL!


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