Do Something You're Good At
Here's a good rule for school involvement: Volunteer to do one or two things very well rather than a bunch of things not so well, and make it something that you enjoy doing. Also, pick something that you can do in the time you have. If you work locally, volunteer to be a lunch or playground monitor. Or channel some of your work talents into volunteerism. This has two benefits: It allows the school to get some free professional-level consulting, and it gives you some experience as a private consultant, which may prove useful someday if the layoff fairy visits. I've focused my school involvement this year on helping to build our school's Website into a better communication tool for parents, students and teachers.
Stay in Touch with the Teacher
I generally cannot be at my child's school during the day, but I've found other ways to stay involved. For example, my children's teachers will at times send me homework to do, which can be anything from cutting a million triangles to recording a book on audiotape. I also send in supplies, snacks and donate whenever I can for projects. I also take time off from work to go on field trips, and always attend any plays, parties or other special events going on in the classroom. There are so many ways to get involved. Parents must simply ask the teacher, "How can I help?" Now that email is so prevalent, communication is much easier. Use it! Teachers are responsible for too much today. They need you.