So, yesterday morning I took advantage of being a work-from-home mom — I turned my laptop off, got out of my jammies and yoga pants (that was tough) and volunteered in Addy's Junior Kindergarten class.
I have to say, I have a new appreciation for kindergarten teachers. (I've always appreciated my teachers — my Grade One teacher was a guest at my wedding — but you can't actually appreciate these angelic people who spend so much time with your kid until you're in the class with them.)
(Note: I know not all teachers are made the same. You'll recall my blog about my scary kindergarten teacher. Yikes.)
I spent four hours in Addy's classroom yesterday with a group of four- and five-year-olds I had little to no patience for (my own included), but it was pretty awesome. It was amazing to see Mrs. E in action — the woman has a tremendous amount of energy, excitement, love and patience for her students. The one word that popped into my mind was: Spunk. Though she asked one kid to take off his snow pants a good two dozen times (I stopped counting after a while), she reminded one kid where to put his library book (for the millionth time) and continuously told the kids to wash their dirty little hands, it was clear that she really loves being a teacher, and really loves the kids in her class. (She even told them so when she did a little lesson on how to write a Valentine's letter.)
It was also neat watching Addy, who didn't hang onto me the entire time and actually worked independently and with her little friends. She participated (albeit quietly) in activities, and listened intently to Mrs. E. (Now if only she'd do that at home…)
While the class worked away at their various centres, I was quite happy doing whatever administrative tasks Mrs. E needed me to do. I also got to read with a few cuties, took down some artwork and helped the tots make their Valentine's classroom mailbox at the "Creation Station."
By the time I left at the beginning of lunch, Mrs. E was still cheery, bouncy and peppy. (I pictured her swallowing handfuls of caffeine pills and downing carafes of coffee during recess.) Me? I looked like I'd been run over by a truck. My Spanx were bunching, I had glue halfway up my arms and I'm fairly certain there was sneeze residue from five or six kids all over my top. Oh, the joys of kindergarten.
Needless to say, I'm going back in next week. I'm planning on taking advantage of volunteering as much as I can. And I know Mrs. E appreciates the help — I'd rather she had extra time to focus on her kids than stuffing folders and filing.
Have you volunteered in your kid's class? What was your experience?
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