Outsource it! 50 Ways to Utilize Classroom Volunteers

As a teacher, you have a never-ending stream of work. Here is the good news: you don't have to do it all. Classroom volunteers are the teacher's version of outsourcing, and you should do it as much as you can. Ideally, you have a solid group of parents to fill this role, but if you don't, consider recruiting your past students. They will love coming back to help one of their favorite teachers. Other sources for volunteers: high school students who may be able to earn credit for helping in your classroom and senior citizens such as grandparents or enthusiastic older folks from your local retirement home.

Before you assign a task to a volunteer, make sure they are a good match. Considering the following categories can help you select the right volunteer for each job:
  • At school, working directly with students 
  • At school, not working with students
  • At home (great for parents who can't make it into the classroom)
  • One time/occasional help
So, what should you have them do? Here is a list of 50 different tasks 
  1. Taking down bulletin boards/student artwork
  2. Putting up bulletin boards/student art work
  3. Copying/printing
  4. Cutting stuff on the paper cutter
  5. Cutting stuff out at home using scissors
  6. Sharpening pencils
  7. Laminating task cards and other materials
  8. Binding books with binding machine
  9. Using the die-cut machine
  10. Collating and stapling papers
  11. Distributing end-of-the-week papers into mailboxes
  12. Correcting assignments/tests that do not need comments
  13. Labeling books and classroom materials
  14. Cleaning computers and keyboards
  15. Organizing classroom library, games, art materials etc.
  16. Repairing books, games, and other classroom materials
  17. Organizing, cleaning, replacing classroom materials such as crayons, markers, and glue
  18. Creating materials for centers, games etc. 
  19. Setting up centers or stations
  20. Facilitating centers or stations
  21. Monitoring class while you work with a small group
  22. Using flashcards with a group or individual
  23. Leading a small group
  24. Helping/tutoring one student who is struggling
  25. Listening to students read one-on-one
  26. Working one-on-one with students during writing workshop
  27. Helping a student who has been absent to catch up
  28. Helping a student get organized/find papers/basically pull it together
  29. Leading enrichment activities with fast finishers
  30. Supervising indoor recess so you can have a break (if school allows)
  31. Reading out loud to the class
  32. Ordering books from book clubs/collecting checks etc.
  33. Sorting and distributing book club books once they have arrived
  34. Setting up science, art, or cooking stations or centers.
  35. Helping with particularly involved art, science, or cooking projects
  36. Cleaning up science, art, or cooking stations or centers
  37. Organizing and implementing fund raisers
  38. Organizing class parties
  39. Helping with class parties
  40. Helping on special days like Science Fairs, Read-Ins, Author Day etc.
  41. Guest speakers
  42. Field trip leaders
  43. Making costumes and props for classroom productions
  44. Taking pictures of students/printing and organizing
  45. Scanning/saving student work
  46. Maintaining classroom website
  47. Helping with parent newsletter
  48. DIY projects like making milk-carton stools or personal whiteboards
  49. Returning books you have used for a unit to the public library
  50. Buying schools supplies (since you are buying them anyway, why not send a parent out to do it? Give her your hard earned cash and tell her what she needs to buy with it. It will raise some awareness and maybe she will even share the experience with other parents and they will contribute to the cause) 

Looking for more teaching ideas like this? Consider following me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Teachers Pay Teachers.

This post was part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop. Find more ways to make your school year amazing by checking out some of the posts below. There are a lot of posts, so looking for your grade level below each thumbnail will really help!


Sally said...

What a great list! I forget several of these every time a parent says "What can I do?" I think I need to print this!

Sally from Elementary Matters

Jennifer @ Simply Kinder said...

I always struggle with this. I appreciate this post a ton!!!!

Jennifer from
Simply Kinder

Stefanie Galvin said...

What a fabulous post! Thanks for sharing your ideas - this will come in very handy!

Miss Galvin Learns

Rita Rahima said...

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ann mosley said...

I really enjoy this idea. It’s really hard to keep up with everything during the lesson. Sometimes you simply need minor assistance because multitasking isn't an option. Moreover, some kids would love to help you. It makes them feel important and develops their sense of responsibility. This way you will make sure they won’t write an essay for money in the future. Diligence is something you have to foster kids while they are small. But of course, as you've mentioned, your requests have to be easy to handle. Anyway, thanks for a great post!

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