I just got back from helping during my son’s kindergarten guided reading today at school. I swear, I had more fun than the kids did today.
I have been promising him I would come to help out throughout the entire year. But when you work some weekends and usually have one day off during the week, honestly you just don’t want to spend your only day off at the elementary school. Let’s be real.
However, his behavior has improved dramatically at school and at home, and as a reward I scheduled a time to come in to help, not knowing what I was in store for today. Ry was so excited and happy, his big toothless grin was worth the time.
First of all, apparently Kindergarteners are my jam. They are crazy, funny, hyper, silly, annoying, tattle taley, sweet little bursts of energy. I never was a baby magnet, I really like the interaction you get with these mini humans. These kids were super smart, too. I did not know half the things they are learning now in Kindergarten when I was their age, that’s for sure. They engaged with each other and myself easily, and they snuggled up close to me on the carpet, excited to be near “Ryan’s mom”. It was awesome. I was suddenly the popular kid in class, ha!
I felt like a wildlife observer at times, sitting in awe and singing along while they sopped up knowledge and learned how to do new things. They shared eagerly, were so helpful towards each other, and were hilarious. As I observed Ry’s sweet teacher do her thing, I just kept thinking… PAY THIS WOMAN. Most could not do what she does, every day. If she has a headache, is worried about her own babies, or is exhausted – well, too bad. She has to be “on”. All. The. Damn. Time.
She was so compassionate with the troublemakers, so encouraging with the shy kids, and so sweet to the ones sharing their questions and thoughts. I thank our lucky stars everyday that Ryan got to have this teacher for Kindergarten. She is amazing. She has always kept me in the loop with his specific struggles, and her parent communication with the class has always been stellar. I hugged her when I left, and now she probably thinks I’m slightly psychotic, but I felt it was warranted. I left that school feeling so sure that Ryan was in the right place at the right time, with the right teacher.
I walked out of there high on life, man.
I am sure the other teachers are wonderful, too. But this gal, she is legit. Ryan teared up a bit when I left, but a quick reassuring hug and he was on to do some Go Noodle activities, groovin’ and shakin’ with his friends for another couple of hours until he returned home to us on the bus.
I came straight home and jotted these thoughts down. I want to remember how this felt, volunteering time, seeing these kids blossom, and perhaps lifting a slight burden off the teacher for guided reading activities for one day.
I promised Ryan that I would volunteer more often when he is in First Grade, and I intend to keep that promise. I like to think that I have always respected and appreciated teachers, but visiting an actual Kindergarten class and running a group for just that small sliver of time, assured me that I actually know very little about the demands of handling a classroom of littles.
You teachers, aides, paras, principles, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and anyone I am missing that work directly with our kids every day….. Just, thank you.
And you parents. If you are working during school hours or caring for multiple kiddos, visiting your child’s school may be a luxury that you don’t always have. However, I would encourage you to join the class when you are able, to see what I am talking about first hand. Your child will LOVE it, and you may just be surprised that you love it even more.
*Thank you Mrs. H, for loving and teaching my baby while he is away from home every day.