Tuesday, February 03, 2009

School Volunteer

I've logged a number of hours volunteering in the school classroom. It's not my absolute favorite thing to do but my sense of duty (thank you Gilbert & Sullivan) helps me to feel rewarded in this endeavor.

I kind of had a "hall pass" for the last 18 months since Grace was born. It's a well-known fact that if you have a newborn, you are absolved of classroom volunteering responsibilities. Does 18 months classify as a newborn still? I guess not. Time to get busy on that but in the meantime, I got caught in a teacher's snare. Before the holidays, Ben's teacher called and said, "were your the parent that was asking about volunteering opportunities in the classroom?" "Ummmm, well...[what in the heck do I say to that? If I say, 'nope, not me' I sound like a jerk. This is a trap, people.] I would be happy to volunteer if you need. What are you looking for exactly?" I took the bait.

(By the way, I have been volunteering at the school for the second grade team. I just am not in the classroom but I exchange books for the kids. My brother said that in California, they call that the library but this is something different I assure you.)

So, simply ignoring the assignment did not work. Indeed the parent I am to share with called me up in January and confirmed we are sharing every other week. Today I went for the first time. I begged and pleaded with Scott to come home and stay with the little girls as they are not invited to help.

It was reading centers. Ack! Please start removing my fingernails one by one to alleviate the torture. The kids are split up into groups, they either go with the teacher or a BYU volunteer (could you not find another one???) whilst I wander the room awaiting a hand to go up or more importantly, I police the children so that they will actually do their work independently.

Wander, wander.. Look like you are doing something. Oh good, a hand goes up. In whispered tones, "Hi. What can I help you with?" "What did Albert Einstein do?" "Well, he was super smart. Umm, he didn't invent the lightbulb. I know that was Edison." Luckily a kid pipes up, "he cured the common cold." Did he really? Well, what do you know. Not but a few minutes later, "How do you spell Donatello? Like the artist? [dumbhead]" Luckily I can spell. Why can't these kids ask me the main characters of Jane Austen's classics? Or how about talk about each of the Bronte sister novels? It's my current fettish. How about Elizabeth Gaskell? Let's talk about her. Any music question? Whatever.

So, then I go about my wandering and notice a child not doing anything. "May I see your treasure journal?" "No." "Ummmm....please may I see your treasure journal." "No, you wouldn't understand it." Probably not, kid. This wasn't the first kid that refused to let me see their written work. After a discussion with the teacher afterwards, I realized this was their number one tactic for getting out of doing anything. Perfect. The highlight was of course seeing handsome Ben who has no qualms about showing his enthusiasm for me being there. That's why I do it.

I can't wait until two weeks!


The Hopkins said...

I'm with you - pure torture! I was planning to go back to school to get a credential and then I thought, "Hey wait a minute - I don't like helping in the class or on fieldtrips - why would I want to be in charge?" I was so happy when my kids were out of grade school...

Celia Fae said...

Doody? I hate it. Good for you, overcoming your helping hate. It really does mess up your whole day.

liz said...

ok can i sign up to be helped on the same day as you?! you would totally crack me up, it would be fun. I would feel the same way about it.

Paige said...

I hate it. It's pure torture. I work in 3 classrooms and often bring Bea, and she is really good but the teachers are mean about it.

katielyn said...

So, I guess I get my teaching jeans from the Johnson side of my DNA. Anytime you want to smack one, just think- how much worse would they be in 8th grade? And then you have a glimpse of my day, every day, all day long. Just keep on chugging- I'm sure the teacher likes the help.