Don’t Fear the Children!

I’m not scared of the kids anymore! Yay!

No, not my kids…Kindergarten kids!

You see, Tuesday this week, I began my once – weekly volunteering in Eli’s class. What’s crazy about it, is that its the same teacher, same type of volunteering and even the same time slot, as five years ago when I did it in Logan’s kindergarten class!

Only this time, I’m more accustomed to the children. Five years ago, I was only familiar with my own two and when I suddenly found myself in a room with 23 of them who weren’t mine, I was afraid… also very grateful to only be the volunteer.

dontfearthechildren

And to think I began college at the University of Northern Colorado all those years ago with the intention that I would have a career in elementary education when I grew up. Ha!!

I know how to engage them now. Before, in Logan’s kindergarten class, I wasn’t sure how to talk to them. Like I said, I had only ever spent time with my own kids or close friends of our’s. But it wasn’t long before I began to understand the nice ones from the not-so-nice ones. That kind of discernment took me a lot longer five years ago. This go-round, I’ve already discovered who I’d like Eli spending his time with and who he should avoid. I say that mostly tongue-in-cheek. But lets be honest, if I could, you better believe I’d pick his friends for him. I know I have a bigger say in actually doing that now, though, than later, and I’m sure I can impress upon him, if necessary, who is good to be by and who isn’t. I like to think my guys are a good judge of character. Logan has done well with that. And Eli has a good head on his shoulders.

Eliinschool

It was about half way through my volunteering, Tuesday, that I just happened to look out in the hallway and saw Logan’s teacher from last year, Mr. McIntosh. We smiled and waved to one another and when I wound up seeing him again on my way out, he asked me how it went and (in jest), if I scared any of them? I was able to tell him with confidence that I went right ahead and separated two little boys who were making bad choices and gave a stern looking to upon a couple of ornrey girls. My eye even began the irritated twitch when they wouldn’t listen to me and stay on task. (I’m sure that wouldn’t have happened five years ago…) Mr. McIntosh laughed and told me he felt like he could never find the patience to teach kindergarten, because not only is the teacher teaching these kiddos their 1,2,3 s and ABCs, some for the first time even, but they are also teaching them how to be students in school. It’s easy to forget what a huge responsibility this is.

Eli was happy that I was there on Tuesday morning, but I noticed that he acted almost bashful that I was. I’d look at him and smile or give him a wink and he’d give me his embarrassed face. It’s kinda cute. But, I feel like he’s becoming more used to the idea as throughout this week, there have been more parent volunteers, so he doesn’t just think that I’m the only one! He’s too young, I think to feel like his mama is cramping his style! Logan on the other hand….Let’s just say that when i asked him if I could come see him at lunch before I visit Eli during his lunch today, Logan agreed that I could stop by, but not to stay because he’ll be busy devising science-y stuff and shrink-rays with his pals.

Alright, son. I’ll accept your “stop-by.”

At least he didn’t shut me down completely!