How to Chaperone a Middle School Dance

If your tween is in middle school there's probably a school dance on the horizon. Most middle schools plan at least one school dance a year, and dances are a fun way for your child to interact with peers and have a little fun. If you'd like to chaperone a school dance, or if you've been asked to chaperone, there are certain things you need to know before the event. The tips below will help you make the most of the evening and allow for a fun and safe time for the students.


Make the Most of Your Chaperone Experience

Have the Right Attitude: Being a good chaperone means having a positive attitude. If you don't want to be there you won't enjoy the experience, and you probably won't be the chaperone the kids deserve. If chaperoning isn't your thing, try to find another task that you can do. If you think you'd enjoy the experience, make sure you start the evening off with a smile and with the best of intentions.

Know School Rules and Regulations: It's important that you know the school rules and regulations so that you know what to do should something happen. What do you do if a fight breaks out? What should you do if someone gets get sick? Who should you contact if you find illegal substances on one of the students? If you're unclear about your responsibilities or how to handle a situation, be sure to ask the school staff before the dance. 

Dress Up: You're chaperoning a dance, not a field trip, so be sure you dress for the event.

Wear something appropriate, and be sure to compliment the children on their party attire. They will probably feel a bit self-conscious, and a positive word from you could help make the evening. 

Pay Attention: Your job is to make sure the evening is a success and that means it's important for you to pay attention.

Avoid hanging out with the other parents. You need to be alert so you can react if something happens. Be on the lookout for bullying or mean behavior. Look for students who are by themselves and might need an encouraging word or someone to talk to so that they don't feel so awkward and out of place. 

Be Prepared: You'll want to be ready for the unexpected so bring along some items that might help in the event that someone's strap breaks, someone ends up in tears, or someone's parent didn't show up to pick them up. Pack needle and thread, safety pins, tissues, and make sure you have your cell phone on hand in case you need to make contact with a parent.

It's Not About You: You might be tempted to join in the fun but remember the dance isn't about you, it's about the kids. Let them be the stars of the evening, you're there to support them. It's fine to interact with the children, but try to encourage them to interact with each other. Intervene when you think it's necessary, otherwise just take a step back and enjoy watching the kids have a wonderful evening.

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