We all have our talents

I volunteer in my kids’ classrooms on a quasi-regular basis. I do it because they need the help, not because I have a great deal to contribute to the average 5 year old. Yes, even now, they still scare me.

The first time I went in, the kindergarten teacher had several tasks for me to choose from. One, pull a bunch of papers out of some books and then sort them. Admin stuff.

Two, call the kids back one by one to work on writing their names. Uh oh. Interactive stuff. I never know what to do with other people’s kids in these situations. It usually goes like:

“OK Gavin, let’s start with G….what? Pop Tarts? That’s nice. OK, G….huh? Shoelace? OK…don’t you have Velcro?…OK, let’s try an ‘a’….oh, that’s really gross, kid…” (starts looking at clock)

And then option 3, which was a pile of birthday crowns that needed to be traced and cut. A ha. A manual dexterity task. I’m all over it.

So an hour later, she had a pile of the most surgically precise construction paper crowns that ever existed outside a paper mill. They were perfect. I even made sure they were equally distributed amongst the color selections. If only I had my electrocautery, those babies would have been off the hook.

The next time I went in, there were two tasks to choose from: Pulling papers out of books, or tracing teddy bears. An hour later, an army of Borg-like bears was piled on the desk, perfectly round ears and precisely sharp limb joints ready to be mutilated by the kids.

This last time I went in, there was simply a pile of gingerbread men to be meticulously brought to fruition. This teacher is pretty smart.

Filed: Blog, Mother of the Year, Musings Tagged: ,
  • http://www.peacefuldog.blogspot.com Kirsten Stade

    Pretty cool that you keep going though! I know I’d rather deal with a houseful of wacky, zooming, unhousebroken puppies than try to be a good influence on a group of kids for any extended period of time–but that’s just me:)

  • http://twitter.com/ivypt Ivy Taylor

    that is a one smart teacher to zero in on both the kids’ and parents’ strengths.
    I loved volunteering at my daughter’s preschool (and still do), but realized last year that as a room parent, my skills (or interest) didn’t really shine. Thankfully, there were two room parents, so we did some tag-teaming, so the class didn’t suffer :D

  • http://lifewithdesmond.com lauren @ life with desmond

    ha! i sooooo feel the same way about kids (i don’t have any of my own, so all kids are other people’s kids–and i feel awkward around them) and even other people’s dogs. i never know what the parent would consider appropriate as far as guidance/correction/discipline, should that situation arise. this makes me panicky. lol

  • gaelowyn

    I’m an LVT. The teachers in my nieces’ and nephews’ schools know to call on me for plenty of “gross” career stories. My children are too young at this point for career day stuff.