Déjà vu (My Foray into Kindergarten)

One of the reasons I don’t work outside the home is so I can be available to help out in my kids’ classrooms at school.  I love that I can be a fly on the wall, so to speak, and see what the other kids are like, what they are doing all day, and yes, how the teacher interacts with the students.  I haven’t been disappointed yet.  (Thankfully!)

So far this year I haven’t done much in the classrooms, but I was asked last week if I could help out in my daughter’s kindergarten class on Tuesdays.  Even though I want to be a part of their classrooms, I admit my initial reaction was a bit mixed.  I have two mornings a week when all three of my kids are in school.  I treasure those 4 precious hours every week.  In fact, I cling to those 4 hours for dear life.  I hate to give any of them up.  But I know that my primary job right now is caring for my kids, and taking this opportunity to be in the classroom is a large part of that job description.  So I compromised and said that I will commit to every other Tuesday morning.

Yesterday was my first appearance in the classroom, and my initial reaction was I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER!  Lord bless them, kindergarten teachers everywhere.  I have known for many years that I am not cut out for teaching kindergarten.  Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (before I had kids and before I was a 3rd grade teacher), I was the dreaded “sub”.  I subbed all over the place.  I covered the gamut from K to 12 and even a gym class a couple of times.  I soon learned there were certain ages I was not cut out to teach.  Middle school was one of them.  (I loved high school, interestingly!)  Kindergarten was the other.  I subbed for kindergarten a couple of times before I declared never again to accept an assignment for kindergarten.  It’s me, it’s not them.  I just couldn’t handle it.  I could not keep 20-some 5-year-olds engaged and working diligently for any length of time.  I came home from those days of subbing with my hair falling out in clumps.  Or almost, anyway.  I’m sure if I had continued, major health problems would have ensued.

I had a striking sense of déjà vu when I entered my daughter’s classroom yesterday.  I am perfectly happy to be the parent assisting the teacher, that I can handle.  But I have no idea how that dear lady maintains her sanity and a full head of hair (to say nothing of law and order) day after day.  I guess this is why God makes us all different, right?  Ironically, C’s teacher has taught 3rd grade and 6th and has found her home in kindergarten.  She loves it, and it shows.  And for that I am thankful.  I would hate for my kids to have a teacher who was miserable in her teaching assignment.

For all of my drama, I really do love being involved in the classroom.  I’m thrilled that my kids have often had teachers who welcome parent involvement.  And I will gladly trade in my 2 hours of peace and quiet for the opportunity to be a part of my daughter’s education.  Okay, maybe gladly is a bit strong.  Let’s go with willingly.