Should I tell my child's teacher why I don't want to volunteer in her classroom?
I have one day a week that I can volunteer at my child's school for a couple hours. However, I haven't signed up to volunteer in the classroom, because I'm not fond of the teacher's style and tone with parents. She's very particular about how things are done, and her Back to School Night speech was nearly entirely focused on her rules/her way in her classroom. During that time, she also publicly rebuffed a parent about a policy question (awkward moment for the rest of us!). Anyway, I hesitate to bring this feedback directly to the teacher, because I don't want to cause unnecessary tension between us (the school year has just begun, after all, and with any luck, she may grow on me eventually). I also don't want her to think I'm an absentee or non-responsive parent. Yet, I don't know if telling her would make any difference (I suspect not, based on historical information shared with me from other parents whose children had her in years prior, and who involved the principal in their situations to little-to-no avail). What to do? Stay quiet and try to make it through the year with as few disagreements or issues as possible, or raise this as a concern and opportunity for her to improve her relationships with parents (including me)? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Update: I decided not to send a note to school, and wait for the Parent Teacher conferences in November to discuss in person.
Our teacher sent home some great questions for parents to answer and bring to the sessions. The questions covered student skills, strengths, and areas of growth; academic, emotional and physical goals; and any concerns. Our conversation about these topics went very well, and I found the teacher to be much more flexible than she seemed at Back to School Night (when she may have just been nervous). She invited me to visit the classroom for an hour a week, as an observer or participant in the reading sessions. We were completely aligned with our daughter's learning plan, and my outlook on this school year is dramatically improved.
I wouldn't try to talk to the teacher about her style or tone because it sounds like she doesn't listen to anyone. Is it possible to do something that doesn't require working directly with her or being in the classroom? Possibly taking home cutting work (I teach kindergarten, I seem to spend half my life cutting), researching something, making clay, something like that? Failing that, is it possible to volunteer in the school library? You can always tell the teacher that you didn't want to get in her way, but you did want to volunteer in the school.