I LOVE to have parents volunteer in the classroom. It is such a valuable tool for that home-school connection. They also get to see the day to day activities, opposed to a celebration (where NOTHING goes as planned). Some years, I have a huge amount of volunteers and then they dwindle off by January. Other years.... ghost town. Many parents work throughout the day and are not able to come in- which I'm fine with (I'm that parent!). You just never know.
I spend tons of time trying to coordinate schedules and balance the opportunities among the parents. I make monthly schedules and try to rearrange things to accommodate pre-school pick ups and such. On occasion, parents just don't show up. It can get frustrating when I have a special activity/ craft planned for when I will have an extra set of hands. This is taking away from my teaching. (Check me out- I'm growing as a teacher and focusing on what I can control.)
This year, I'm trying something new for parent volunteers. I'm letting them sign up for the days and times I outline. Our fabulous PTO uses Sign-up Genius for most of their events. It's been working out great! I saw it on a blog the other day in the comments (forgive me, please, I can't remember where I was reading to give proper credit). Amazing idea and it's FREE! Why didn't I think of it?
So, I'm pulling out those volunteer form out of my parent night folders and adding this option to my power point. Hurray for those smart teacher who share great ideas in bloggyland!