Volunteer Spot - Doing Good Just got Easier, is making my teaching life easier! I am so excited about the ease of using this website I just had to share in hopes it might help you start your school year. I love the three steps highlighted on the main page; you schedule, they sign up online or on the go, and we remind. It's just that easy.
Here's the sign ups I have created so far.
August Classroom Needs
Fall Parent Teacher Conferences
Spring Parent Teacher Conferences
M/Th Classroom Volunteering
T/F Classroom Volunteering
I tried out the website last spring with a classroom needs wishlist and sent out my invite early one Saturday morning. Within the hour, each item was snatched up by my parents and I didn't need to go shopping or spend my own personal money. It was so nice and easy. I plan on doing one monthly. This way I don't need to collect and store two classes of tissue boxes too.
Then I got thinking about parent teacher conferences. Last year, my district created their own online system to sign up for parent teacher conferences and piloted it in a few buildings. As a parent I got to try it out. The layout was bland and I had to spend 20 minutes trying to schedule an appointment. Only one person could be in the system at a time, seriously! We are a district with 15 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 3 high schools. I'm not sure if they are still using this option or not, but I'm going to be proactive. I'm also going to save time for my building secretary because as of now she takes lots of phone calls and schedules conferences for us. I like the idea of using Volunteer Spot for conferences because parents can adjust and change their appointment to one that is open if they have a conflict.
As I was working last night, I thought about classroom celebrations. Each year we ask for a room parent who can help organize and plan our activities. They often send emails requesting help after initial sign ups. I thought about how our gatherings work and thought I can map out what we need and create a sign up. I don't think we will need a coordinator. I listed snack items and paper products. Then instead of one parent planning three or four things to do, I listed one activity for one parent in hopes of having three or four parents each planning one thing. Sharing the work among a few could make life easier.
I teach two classes of K so the option of copying an activity or a whole sign up is beautiful. I copied my celebrations sign up, renamed it and adjusted the dates in just a few minutes. Are you wondering about reminders? Two days before something is do, a reminder is sent from Volunteer Spot via email and I don't have to do it. I'm really excited about scheduling classroom volunteers with this tool and saving time making a google calendar.
When making a sign up, you have two options; create a to bring item or a to do. You can let people know how many people need to sign up. You can add a note, which I did about our celebration activity ideas. You can make a link and send it out to parents so they can sign up and help you. If you need help organizing your classroom life and involve parents this is a great tool. There are a few more features I have not tried out yet and so far the free version is working fine for me. I also purchased the ios app and love that I will have this information on my phone when I need to check something quickly. I do not work for Volunteer Spot in any way. I just wanted to share something that could simplify your life and maybe give you a bit more time to eat ice cream, run, or read a book.