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Ever heard the old adage “kids say the darndest things?” There’s a reason for that, and chances are good that your kids have come up with some doozies of their own a time or two. …

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Getting Involved in Your Child’s School

Submitted by on September 16, 2010 – 6:00 AM2 Comments
Getting Involved in Your Child’s School

As a parent are you involved in your child’s school?  I felt so detached from Madi her first few weeks of Kindergarten.  From day one, parents were discouraged from entering the school and walking them to class.  Of course there was some leniency the first week or so, but my baby was pretty much on her own from the beginning.

Pre-K had been so comfortable.  I knew the teachers and the other parents, they knew me.  I talked to Madi’s teacher in the morning when I dropped her off, and everyday when I picked her up.  I volunteered in her class often and quickly got to know the other children…who was nice, who was not… 😉

Then it was onto Kindergarten.  The first day of school was less than pleasant for me.  For starters, we were two minutes late and Madi’s teacher made us get a tardy slip…talk about feeling like the WORST mother in the world. I literally cried when I was leaving the school that morning. (Silly, I know, but true.)  I’ll put it in the words of my sympathetic husband, “We’re in the big league now, baby!”  Oh how right he was.

Along with the big league comes a lot of responsibilities.  I quickly realized that I needed to step up my game to feel comfortable with the new environment.  I headed to parent teacher night (late, again, lol) determined not to let the happenings of the first day linger in my mind.

To my surprise, Kindergarten teachers need a LOT of volunteers.  There were volunteer options from special occasions all the way to a daily commitment.   WOW!  Daily commitment, huh?  Well I wanted  to be involved, to not feel detached, but a DAILY commitment?  Hmmm…needless to say I opted out for the daily commitment but didn’t resort to being the folder stuffer (tempting as it was).  I did however commit to being the cooking volunteer once a week!

This week was my second time “cooking” with Madi’s class.  I couldn’t have been more happy than I was making apple trees out of crackers, M&M’s, and frosting with green food coloring! I am thrilled to be involved in Madi’s class (of course Hailey’s too) in order to have the in with my kiddos.

By the first day in each class, I already knew who had a crush on Madi and who is the problem child in Hailey’s class.  (I’ll never tell:)!)  But outside of this, I am able to monitor the interaction of my children with their teachers and their peers.  I get a first hand look at their areas of opportunity, both socially and academically.  Lastly, it helps me recognize the simple things that I can incorporate in our daily routine to help them thrive.  Even if I can’t pinpoint the problem, being there gives me enough insight to be able to ask the right questions of their teachers in order to get my little ladies where they need to be.

Even if you’re a working Mama, there are projects that teachers need help with that you can do from home, whether it be preparing supplies for a craft or project, or even sending out email communications.  They need us, Mamas and we sure and the heck need them!  They need us to be there, to be present in all that we do.  It can be scary, it can be intimidating, but it’s time for the big league!

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  • Elena Lynch says:

    Ms. Lori, I have seen first-hand how dedicated you are to not only your children, their activities, and school, but to your friends, your husband, your church and anything else you can get your hands on. I just want to say thank you for all that you do.

    I have begun volunteering at Gavin’s school one day a week for an hour or so. I definitely wanted to see inside the classroom and see what as going on. Gavin being a darling little man who has some special needs, I personally needed that insight to make sure things were going well, and that he and his teacher were both happy and functioning. They are ;). Huge weight off my shoulders.

    I am also seeing what an enormous responsibility these teachers have. Being pulled in 20 different directions at once while trying to keep kids on task seems almost impossible and requires exceptional skill and patience. I can imagine that many teachers feel tremendous pressure from parents to challenge these children while nurturing and teaching. While high expectations are good to some degree, it is unrealistic to expect the teacher to do all the work. I can see now how much they depend on us as parents to contribute to this journey our children are on. Anything that can be done to assist a teacher, no matter how small, directly benefits all of our children. If you have not done so already, I encourage you to step up to the plate Mamas and Papas and get involved. Game on!

  • Ms. Elena,

    I don’t think anyone could have given me a nicer compliment! You brought tears to my eyes. I can’t thank you enough for the kudos. Sometimes a girl just needs to hear it!

    I am thrilled that you’re volunteering at Gav’s school once a week! Isn’t it interesting to get the inside scoop? It truly is an eye opening experience in so many aspects.

    You are so right regarding the fact that it’s totally unrealistic to expect the teachers to do all the work. After doing additional work with Madi at home, I realize she has some opportunities in certain areas that I had never been able to pinpoint before. It’s nice to be able to discuss this with her tutor and teacher. We compare notes so little Madi doesn’t try and pull the wool over our eyes;).

    You’re the BEST!!