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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.

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19 thoughts on “Déjà vu (My Foray into Kindergarten)

  1. I have 2.5 hours 3 mornings a week. I treasure those hours more than most things in my life – It is rare that I get to just be home and enjoy them or get “my” stuff done…but when I do it is lovely! Usually I use those hours to schedule Dr. and Dentist appts, help at my oldest daughters school in the computer lab or some other not terribly exciting thing…but moms need that time and it is important to take it when you can!

  2. You are one brave woman to venture into the kindergarten classroom! I helped in art class when my daughter was in kindergarten and I’m still traumatized from the experience of having one kid try to cut his lips off with scissors while I was wrestling another kid out of the glue he had spread all over the table. Never again!!!!

  3. Good for you! I love helping out occasionally at my son’s school. I am actually currently the party coordinator for his class. In fact, this coming Monday is my biggest responsibility organizing the food, decorating, and set-up of their Thanksgiving Feast for the kids and their families. Lots of fun. I’ll probably blog about it next week!

  4. I’m glad you were able to go! It is always nice to see what’s happening in the classroom. I could not teach kindergarten either – those teachers are such a blessing. And I have subbed for Junior High kids in our Christian school and they are tougher to handle than the younger elementary kids, I think! Also, I haven’t experienced that awkward age with my son yet, so I think that makes a difference, too.

  5. I like to help out in my kids’ classrooms too. Basically I’m nosy – I want to see what’s going on in the room. What I’d truly like to be is a fly on the wall…there must be some funny/crazy things that happen in their classrooms when there are no ‘outsiders.’ I’m usually exhausted after my 1.5 hours of volunteering. I always come out of their classroom thinking teachers should get paid more than they do. Bless their hearts!

  6. I cherish my 2.5 hours child-free too, but I love helping out at my son’s nursery school(3 and 4 year olds). I help at snack time some days.

    Next week all the parents are invited along with the kids on a bus trip to a forest to select their christmas tree for the school. I missed out on these as I was working when my daughters were at this stage.

  7. Ironically, I think I’d choose kindergarten over the other grades. I loved helping out in my daughter’s class in kindergarten, too. But I hear ya on giving up some of your hours. Just think, next year, (it’s not that long off!) you’ll have all day to yourself, every day. And in a few years, you’ll miss kindergarten and counting the dots on the ladybug and practicing letters and sounds and poems about snowmen. 🙂

  8. Too, funny. I love kindergarten. I was with second grade yesterday at C’s school and had fun. Makes me sort of miss it, sort of….

  9. Yeah..so I actually tell my kids day care teachers that I have no idea how they can watch screaming kids all day.. not that they even scream all day long, but in my head they do. 🙂

    I am soo not ready to be the Teacher Helper Mom.. but that is only because I am not ready to admit my little guy starts real school next year.. sigh.

  10. I hear you girl!! I have my teaching degree but have only done my student teaching- middle school- not fun! I got my M.A.T. and am now adding on elementary certification. I sub at the elementary school and when I’m in kindergarten I come home exhausted! Even with an assistant in there!! I agree- God Bless Kindergarten teachers everywhere!!

  11. Funny! I love to go help out in the classrooms and always sign up to be the “grademother” but the good Lord did not make me a teacher for a reason. Love my kids. At my house.

  12. Boo’s kindergarten teacher was a saint! She could handle anything that came her way, and never lost her temper. I was lucky enough to be a part of the classroom a couple times, and always thanked her for doing what she does every time. She is amazing.

    I wish I could spend more time in Boo’s class. The kids are great, and her teacher this year is wonderful. You are very lucky~

  13. I would totally cringe at the time taken away from my precious free time! Just wanted you to know you aren’t alone. But they’ll be in Jr. high before you know it and they won’t WANT you there, so these years are important. Have fun!

  14. I so wish I could commit to a regular time to help in the classroom. I feel like I am missing a great opportunity, but it is just not practical with three kids at home. And I agree–Kindergarten is way out of my comfort zone. It must be so difficult to work with so many kids on so many different levels. My girls have had great teachers, thank goodness. Someday I’d like to teach high school government. I’m a nerd.

  15. I haven’t spent much time in classrooms at all since I’ve always worked until recently, but I was so looking forward to getting more involved in my kids’ classes this year now that I’m home (for the time being anyway). I volunteered at both of their Halloween parties – and know exactly what you’re talking about! The kindergartners just wouldn’t leave me alone – it was “Hannah’s mommy!” this and “Hannah’s mommy!” that… Sigh. I wish I enjoyed it more because I know she loved having me there.

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