Almost every teacher will be approached at some point and asked to sponsor a club. They might be asked by an administrator, their fellow teachers, or the students themselves. Being a club sponsor is full of many rewards. However, before you jump in feet first you should consider exactly what it is you are getting involved in.
Student Club Sponsorship Takes Time
While this might seem obvious, it is important that you understand the time commitment involved in sponsoring a student club. First, realize that all clubs are not equal. Each club will require work but some require more work than others. For example, a student club devoted to surfing or chess will probably not take as much time as a service club, especially one with a large number of members. Service clubs such as Key Club or the National Honor Society require numerous service projects that are labor intensive on the part of the sponsor. Any extracurriculuar club activities will require adult coordination and supervision.
In order to gauge how much time you will need to set aside for club sponsorship, talk with teachers who have previously sponsored that particular club. If possible, look at the club by-laws and previous year student events. If you feel that the club is too much to take on due to the time commitment you can either choose to decline the invitation or find a co-sponsor for the club. However, if you do choose a co-sponsor, make sure you pick someone you feel will take on 50% of the time commitment.
Dealing With Students Within the Club
A student club will typically hold an election in which students are chosen to be the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary of the club. You should understand that these are the students with whom you will be working the closest. In fact, if the right individuals are chosen for the job, your role will be much simpler. Realize, however, that there might be students involved in the club who do not participate fully. This can lead to problems. For example, if your club has organized an activity and if the one student who is required to bring the drinks does not show, then you will probably be making a quick run to the store and spending your own money to buy the drinks.
Money and Dues
Sponsoring a student club also means that you will most probably be dealing with dues and monies collected from the students. Before you even begin the process, make sure that you have not only built up a positive relationship with the school's bookkeeper but also that you understand the exact process for collecting money. While there will be a 'treasurer', as the adult you will be responsible for making sure that the money is treated responsibly. In the end, you will be held responsible if money is missing.
School Club Sponsorship Can Be Fun
This article was not meant to scare you away from being a club sponsor. Instead, realize that there are many rewards for those willing to put in the time. You will build a stronger relationship with students within the club. You will also learn a lot about the students, more than you can possibly learn while in the classroom setting. Finally, you will have the reward of helping enrich students lives through extracurricular activities.