Prepare yourself to be very impressed by my obvious uber-generous personality and willingness to sacrifice myself for the greater good. Are you ready?
Okay…I volunteer for 90 minutes every week in my daughter’s first grade class. I know. My propensity for servitude knows no bounds. (Sarcasm intended.)
And this Thursday during my weeklymission for mankind I was helping one of the little boys in Avery’s class. My official “job” is to basically play the severely underpaid babysitter during reading groups with the ultimate goal of making sure that the kids are staying on task and getting their work done. I do a lot of pointing my finger, making the international sign for shut your trap (forefinger placed vertically to mouth) and shaking my head “no.”
I also have to answer questions as I mosey through the room checking work. Now, it should come as no surprise that some kids just want you to tell them what to do. Apparently, for some students the work involved with ‘figuring it out yourself’ is just too emotionally taxing. Therefore, the most popular statement/question I hear is, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. What do I do on this one?” Me: “Well, let’s see. It appears you are referring to the space on your page requesting your name. Iwould write your name.” Just as an FYI, I’ve really had to hone my people skills because the answer I would give my kids at home varies greatly from the answer I give these school children. Greatly.
So, I’m doing my civic duty by these kids and I pass one little boy’s desk who I firmly believe was placed in my life to make me question the future of our country. This kid has “act dumb and you won’t have to do any of your own work even though you’re probably a certifiable genius” down pat. As I pass by the little savant-in-traininghe taps me on the arm.
“Um, excuse me. Can I ask you a question?” as charm is practically oozing out of his piercing little eyes.
Would my life be complete if you didn’t? “Sure, buddy. What’s up?”
“Why are you here? Don’t you have a job?” He tilts his head, waiting for an answer.
“Um, well, I’m here to help you guys.” Geesh.
“Yeah, but why don’t you get a job or something. Why would you want to be here all the time?” He is actually staring at me with an incredulous look on his tiny little face.
“Um, well, gosh. I, well, I really like being here. And, I really like being with my kids, so…” Wait a minute. Why am I explaining my life’s decisions to this 6-year old? And why is he looking at me like he wants nothing more than to get inside my head and figure me out? I think I’m going to have to stay on my “A” game around this kid.
You know what? I think first-graders are highly underrated. They are extremely observant little beings and every week I am astounded by how closely they pay attention. And as for the pseudo-therapist who keeps me on my toes? Ican totally see him in politics…
Love to all, Mindy
It is so great that you volunteer for your son’s school. I did that with my daughter too and thought it was a blast. Hmmm, a good comparison between first graders and politicians. I never thought about it that way, but it seems very appropriate sometimes!
I have had a really good time. I volunteered last year in her Kindergarten classroom…what a world of difference between K and 1st Grade! =)
Oh first graders. I am on recess duty with them for five minutes and it’s about five minutes too long. I’m so relieved to blow the whistle and see the third graders come running out.
You are a good mommy and a good volunteer. I’m sure the teacher values your commitment!
Yeah, those first graders are a tough audience! They are too young to filter themselves and too old to fear us!
Hehehe. Nothing like a kid to put you on the spot. Well, ok. Kids and old people. Neither have that “tact” gene where they realize their questions are rude and none of their business.
I volunteered alot at the kids schools when they were little. Nothing like time spent with other people’s kids to make you realize how much you like your own!!
You sure have that right! But it makes me wonder…are the other mommy volunteers thinking MY kid is annoying as I think their kids are? =)
Angelia Sims says
What a cute post. That’s really funny. I love volunteering, typically, it’s in the Church nursery with kids that can’t talk (after your story I’m so glad). I think he is on to you…..
Yeah, you just wait until they get old enough to insult you in about a 100 different ways…all with a little innocent look on their faces. It’s disconcerting… =)
this cracks me up!
I used to work in Sweet Pea’s classroom for kinder and first grade and loved it but the children were quite precocious and I found myself justifying to them more often than I cared!