You all know that I volunteer in Jack’s class every week. Well, maybe you do. Anyway, I volunteer in Jack’s class every week. About a month ago, his teacher started asking me if I could maybe come in on December 18th for the Holiday Rotation.
Now, I didn’t know what exactly a Holiday Rotation was, but she seemed a little desperate and it involved making latkes from scratch and she was all, “You have your little one too that day? I don’t care, bring him in.”
So Quinn and I arrived at the school on Friday morning ready to volunteer.
If you look closely at that photo, you will notice that Quinn’s sticker says “Volunteer,” complete with quotation marks and everything. Normally I think the quotation marks are a little weird, but in this case they were very accurate. Because Quinn? Didn’t really do much volunteering. He really did much more “Tagging Along” and “Being a Problem.”*
Jack’s teacher had warned me that whatever I wore would end up smelling like Fried. Fortunately I remembered to leave my couture at home.
Now what, you may ask, is a Holiday Rotation? Well, it involved the six first grade classes moving from station to station to do three different holiday activities.
Station One: Latkes
Jack’s teacher straight up made potato pancakes from scratch in the classroom. They were really good. Watching her fry them up in hot oil brought back a memory from my first grade year when my teacher was frying something up and a kid knocked the pan over and he ended up in the hospital. So I was ready to form a human chain in front of the frying table to prevent such a thing from happening again.
Fortunately, the teachers are smart, which is maybe why they’re teachers. One teacher read, like, the longest book in the damn world about Hanukkah while Jack’s teacher cooked.
Quinn actually sat in a chair and listened to the whole story. If I could just get that patience to transfer to his preschool circle time. In that class, the teacher has had to put little pieces of tape on the floor to “remind” the boys where they are supposed to sit.
Jack liked his latke. Quinn did not. But, *I* liked Quinn’s latke.
Station Two: Snowflakes
Mrs. Awesome Cook seemed to have everything under control in Latkeville, so when Jack’s class headed to the next station, most of the other parents and I went with them. There, Quinn “Volunteered” by yelling about wanting to glue some sequins he found to a piece of paper.
Jack’s super-adorable math teacher was heading up this class, which involved a story about SNOW, scissors, and glitter glue.
Station Three: Candy Houses
…but not as good as a plateful of graham crackers, frosting, and candy. Quinn “Volunteered” to participate in this station.
Jack’s little buddy T was really cute. He’s a lot like Jack, and when the teacher told them to put their houses** in a plastic bag and put them in their cubbies, he was all, “But I want to eat it. But I want to eat it.” I guess he forgot about the handfuls of candy that he, Jack, and Quinn ate out of the bowls on their table.
I do have to take this moment to give props to elementary school teachers, para educators, and anyone else who enthusiastically and happily works with six year olds all day every day, because I barely helped out and I was exhausted when I got home. Honestly, I did more chatting and laughing than helping.
I’m also really grateful to those teachers who obviously know that sometimes first graders just need to have some fun and take a half day to cut out snowflakes and have someone read to them.
* Okay, he wasn’t really that much of a problem. But “Being a Problem” is funnier than “Sitting Quietly and Playing with My iPhone.” Wait. That’s actually kinda funny too.
** Now, I think this was a really great idea, but “Candy Houses”? Really? Although I guess “Candy Sidewalk” doesn’t sound quite as good.