Parents Guide

Confidentiality | Volunteering | Helping at Home | Other Resources


The Confidential Nature of the Role of Volunteer

Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles in the path of effective use of Volunteers is the worry on the part of Teachers and Principals regarding the possible use of privileged information. Once anyone begins to work in a school setting, that person becomes privy to knowledge about children's behaviour patterns, academic ability, emotional maturity, relationships with others, etc. In some cases information of this nature is imparted in order that the Volunteer might work more effectively with an individual child. In other cases it is simply acquired in the course of frequent contact in the school.

In addition, Volunteers are in a position to learn more about staff members than would normally be learned from their "public image". One also forms personal opinions about the professional competence of the individual Teachers and Principals.

There is nothing wrong with the Volunteer possessing such knowledge and arriving at personal conclusions. However, in no case should such knowledge or opinions be shared in the community or with anyone who has no legitimate need to know. Similarly, care must be taken to refrain from expressing comments harmful to the reputation of each pupil or professional or the school generally.

If problems develop, the line of communication regarding a situation in the school is always first with the staff member concerned and then, if necessary, with the Principal.

A Volunteer has every right to expect that his or her participation will be treated with the same confidentiality and respect.

-from The Bessborough Volunteer Handbook available in the main office

How to Help as a Parent Volunteer

  • assist students with outerwear (hanging up jackets, placing boots away neatly - children may need reminders to do these things, but they are able to do these things for themselves)

  • check students backpacks for library books, borrow-a-books, returned notices and/or permission forms

  • read with/to children during booktime

  • during Activity Time you will probably be asked to supervise and give support to students at the Writing, Math, or Arts and Crafts Centres

  • at Tidy Up time please help monitor and organize (the children may need direction, but they are capable of tidying up their toys, etc.) -sometimes, children need to be handed an item and told exactly how and where to put it away

  • wipe desk tops if necessary

  • enjoy your time in the classroom with the children


Some parents have been asking about activities in the home that can support and promote learning in school. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be enthusiastic about school. Talk encouragingly about it. Build up interest. Ask questions about your child's day and share the interesting events of your day with her/him.

2. Develop a feeling of independence in your child. Praise him/her often.

3. Encourage your child to participate in games and to play with other children.

4. Read to the children often. Sing with them and play with them. A bedtime story is a terrific routine to begin &/or continue throughout your child's Kindergarten years.

5. Let the children see you reading often. Let them know that you enjoy it.

6. Show the child that books aren't the only kind of reading - magazines, packages, letters, road signs, etc. are other sources.

7. Provide materials similar to those in school - paste, paper, scissors, paint, etc.

8. Rehearse Show-and-tell items at home prior to your child's special day. Be sure to ask how it went afterwards.

Advice for the first day of school can be found at this link from Canadian Living.

Other Resources:


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