Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gah, for all of you who read that self-indulgent post of a few days ago, thank you. For those of you who skipped, I don't blame you. I don't want to give a false impression here, that I'm unhappy or pining away or having regrets about my life. For the most part, I'm pretty okay with what I'm doing. I certainly know that my kids, my family, are better off with me as a SAHM right now. As tempted as I am to insert a snarky comment right here about how it would be nice for anyone to have an unpaid worker hanging around the house all day fixing their meals and doing their laundry, I know that my work here is more than that.

My conundrum is that it seems like the way I spend my time is best for everyone's intellectual well-being except mine. And you know, as it turns out the universe does not revolve around me, and the sun will continue to rise on our ever-warming planet whether or not I claw my way up the professional academic ladder. I should probably get over myself, you're thinking. I'm working on it, really I am.

It's just that mixed up in this cocktail of emotions is vague resentment that I am the one letting my career path lead to a dead end because I am the one with a uterus. If I were a dude, I know things would be different, and that bugs me.

Okay, okay. All that said, I'm willing to count my blessings and let this topic go, at least for now.

So anyway, changing the subject...I volunteer in Daniel's KG classroom for about an hour a week, on Tuesday afternoons. I wasn't sure I would like it at first, but it turns out that I love it. I'm really glad I'm doing it. For one thing, I can see what actually goes on in there. Kids line up outside in the morning before school and meet their parents/bus drivers outside in the afternoon when school is done, so if I wasn't spending time in the classroom, I'd have no idea what it's like. For another thing, I am getting to know the kids in Daniel's class. They call me "Daniel's mom", which is actually kind of cute. Anya comes along with me, and a few of the girls in the class kind of dote on her.

It's not always easy. By the end of the day, the kids are tired and squirrelly and not necessarily willing to focus. I help out with math activities and free choice, depending on what the teacher has planned for that time period. Today, I was supposed to help individual kids with math activities like sorting noodles (according to shape or color), writing numbers, and counting to 11 forwards and backwards. One girl was resistant. She didn't want to count, and said she couldn't. I asked her to try, and she did fine counting forwards, but she simply could not count down from 11. I had her try just from 5, and she could when she repeated after me, but couldn't on her own. I simply didn't know what to do. This child is well-behaved and attentive and very creative, as I have witnessed with the projects she comes up with during free choice time. I don't know if the problem was that she couldn't read the numbers yet, or if she was just tired and unwilling to try, or what. As it turned out, the teacher called for the kids to clean up, so I didn't pursue it further. Teaching kindergarten can't be easy.

2 comments:

Claire said...

Bless your heart for volunteering! Parental involvement is the classroom is a tried 'n true method for boosting all students' (especially your child's) learning. I'm planning to volunteer next year, too. And the years after, if I can. The impact you have is huge!

Rachel said...

I have had the same experience volunteering in Ella's classrooms...it's so good to be able to put faces to names, and to have a better understanding of the inner-workings of their day. It sounds like kindergarten is off to a fabulous start!