Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Kids' My Week at School

I have spent so much time at my kids' elementary school this week that I could practically be a substitute teacher. I like to volunteer in Jack's class just to keep an eye on how he is doing and also to see what the teachers' and aides' strategies with him are.

And if I volunteer in Jack's class, Sam insists that I volunteer in his class too. I love being there, mostly because even though I get a lot of "Awwww, Mooooommmm!" when I give him hugs in front of his friends, I see his proud, joyful face that is so happy I am there that it makes it so worth it. Plus, I figure if I suck up to Sam's teachers that by the time Jack gets there next year, the teachers will already like my family.

So Tuesdays I'm going to Jack's class and on Thursdays I'm going to Sam's class. And I co-op in Quinn's classroom two Wednesdays a month. Do you see why I'm so looking forward to having all three of my kids in all-day kindergarten? So much for getting work done while they're in school.

Jack's teacher this year was Sam's teacher last year, and she is so wonderful. As are both of his helpers. This Tuesday Jack had a substitute teacher, but it was cool to hang out and see his classmates. First graders are great because volunteering mom's are like rock stars to them. I get to walk in to a chorus of, "Hi, Mrs. [Stimey]!! Hi, Jackson's mom!"

I also really enjoy getting to see my kids' artwork posted on the walls and in the hallways. For instance, all the kids in Jack's class colored people and answered questions about themselves. Jack drew himself wearing his favorite shirt. (Izzy is our cat and, yes, he has a shirt that says, "I love my Izzy.")

Although the actual shirt mentions our other two pets as well.
Evidently, they are not as well loved. Or their names are harder to spell.

And in case you were wondering, or can't read the small print, he likes to "play video games," his favorite color is "black," and he can "train people" by himself.

Hmmmm...I had no idea he was so self-aware about his manipulative powers.

Volunteering in Sam's class was an absolute revelation. I adore his teacher. She is kind and loving and calls the kids "sweetie." She let me correct papers, which was fun, and then I watched part of their circle time. The way she encouraged the kids to think for themselves and come up with answers was amazing and deft. She was even able to turn the death of one of the kids' butterfly chrysalis into a positive by turning it around into a learning experiment, and "Thank you so much, K, for letting us use your chrysalis to be able to look closely at it."

Fantastic. Love her.

Sam's class also had a "get to know me" project hanging in the hall. Like Jack, Sam has accurately drawn his clothing.

"I like me because I am a good friend.
I like me because I am a good swimmer.
I like me because I am a great runner."

He also drew pictures of himself doing all those things. I particularly like his little stick figure that is shouting, "I like me!"

That was Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon, Quinn and I hit the school for the Wall of Fame ceremony. All the kids who did their summer reading and math packets got a certificate and a bookmark.

From the actual wall. You know. Of fame.

Look how grown up he is!

A few kids got extra awards for good character. Sam was one of those. He's been showing respect at school. I could burst, I'm so proud. Here he is getting his certificate:

Jack was also on the Wall of Fame this month, and he was so, so excited.

And blurry, apparently.

Every single one of the other 160 kids walked carefully up to shake the principal's hand and get their certificate, while the audience of parents clapped excitedly.

But my Jack stood out. He did a funny little hop, skip, and run up to the principal. His excitement was palpable. He got his certificate to applause and laughter. Joy, thy name is Jack.

After the award ceremony, the kids get pizza. I took this frame-worthy photo of my children.

Oh, dear lord, Quinn. What do you think he was so distressed about? Those guys crack me up, like, every single minute.

After Wall of Fame, the kids can go home with their parents. Sam went to get his stuff and Jack took us to his classroom to pack up his stuff. While we were there, Jack gave me a tour of the class.

I repeat: Jack gave me a tour of his class. He showed me all the centers and the calendar and the carpet and his desk and everything. He showed me. He sought out my eyes and wanted to share information about his classroom with me. It may seem to be a little thing, but some of you out there know what a big deal that is. I can probably count on my fingers the number of times he's actively tried to share experiences with me.

Let's just pretend that doesn't say 2-6=4.
I'm sure there was a larger lesson at play there.

I do a lot of whining about my kids and making lighthearted fun of them and my parenting, but I gotta say, someone is doing something right. The school, me and Alex, my munchkins. I love those kids so much and am so proud of them that it practically makes me high.


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Also, I would like to pass my I Suck, You Don't award to the two most recent people to give me blog awards, Alicia, a.k.a. Dr. Mom and Nicki.


  1. Aww, that's wonderful! Go Jack! And having read that, now *I'm* totally proud of your kids. And you. Do parents get an award for doing all the reading and maths too?!

  2. I am so happy the little dudes are doing so well this year! And Jack touring the class for you is absolutely HUGE! I would have been in tears.


  3. i finally get to volunteer in Ethan's class and can't wait for the same reasons you described. so glad things are going well this year.

  4. I love that you are such an active volunteer in your kids' classrooms! I would have loved to have a parent like you come into my class to help and am so glad it gives you such a great window into your kids' lives at school. It sounds like the are doing fabulously! Love that Jack gave you a tour of the classroom and how excited he was at the awards ceremony!

  5. I can't WAIT to volunteer in my kid's classroom! Also, that pizza picture is what I'm going to turn to this weekend when I need a pick me up!

  6. GO JACK!!!! Woo-hoo! And hugs to Sam and Quinn. :)

  7. Priceless. I feel like I was there with you.

  8. People Training! Now there is a career that I never considered...

    Jack is hilarious. And I love Sam's stick figures.

  9. It sounds like school is going awesome for the boys! Its so cool that you get to spend time in their school with them and see what they're doing! What does Quinn do when you go to the school? Does he go with you? I'd like to help in Little Bear's school, but I'd have the clingy little Pufferfish up my butt the whole time!
    ALso, I love the "I Suck, You Don't" award! What a genius way to get out of a meme! It made me laugh and I announced to my family, "Hey, I got an `I Suck, You Don't' award!"

  10. Lord have mercy, it's the fucking wall of fame again.


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