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ONE WAY TO VOLUNTEER


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January 19, 2007

ONE WAY TO VOLUNTEER

Amy Dunkin

The other day, as I was waiting to pick up my kids from school, I saw the mother of one of my son's classmates walking down the steps wearing a white lab coat and a stethoscope around her neck. Knowing she was a pediatriac heart transplant surgeon--yes, it blows my mind, too--I asked her if she had just come from the hospital.

"No," she said, showing me the plastic model of a heart she was holding in her hand. "I was just speaking to the class about my work."

"That's great," I told her. "I did the same thing a few weeks ago." I gave a presentation to the budding writers in my son's 4th grade class about my job as a magazine editor and the importance of the editing process. At first I wasn't so sure how interested they'd be. But I came with plenty of visuals, and to my delight, they were thoroughly engaged.

There are many ways working parents can volunteer their time at school. (See Anne Tergesen's entry below this one, "A Blog Brawl Turns Peaceful.") But one of the best ways is to make a date to go in and talk to the children about what you do. Guaranteed, whatever it is, it will be relevant to something they're learning.

Plus, the teacher is sure to welcome the effort. It will give you a wonderful opportunity to interact with the class and observe all the different personalities in action. And the best part: Your child will be so excited and proud to have mom or dad as the featured guest.

09:38 AM

Career

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I wanted to tell you that I really enjoy the

Working Parents blog you and your colleagues do. I

have been freelancing for financial newsmedia since early 2004 when my daughter was born, and it's amazing the 'multitasking' I had to do sometimes to get stories done. I would be changing the baby's diaper with one hand, pulling down my three year-old's pants with the other so he could use the bathroom, and have the phone hooked to my ear talking to some hedge fund manager (desperately trying to retain what he was

saying) who, of course, would inevitably call back

after the 1/2 day babysitter I had already left.

Today, even if I lock my door, the kids still bang on it, and they more often than not are buzzing around me while I am at my computer! It is not easy to be "working from home" because most of the household and school stuff gets dumped on me as well, and I sometimes think I'm doing the job of three people.

Still, I figure I'm lucky to be in the situation I'm in, and I have sort of got a routine going that allows me to do as much as I can in all areas of my life -- or so I hope.

Posted by: Savita at January 22, 2007 10:32 AM

The principal at my son's middle school started a program a few year's ago called "Real Work/School Work" where parents come in to speak to the children about what they do for a living. We have had doctors, lawyers, police officers, postal workers, and finance managers, among others. The kids get a kick out of it, as do the parents.

Posted by: ellen at January 22, 2007 01:29 PM


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