Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And My Creative Juices got Sucked Right Down the Rabbit Hole

I know. I know. I've sorely neglected my blog. Not only am I not posting daily like the good old days but now I'm lucky if it's once a week [hold on while I check...yep...once a week]. I've over extended myself in all different directions and by the time I find a moment to write I just don't have the creative energy to put finger to keyboard. I get started and then I run out of juice and have to force myself not to write: and then she passed out on her monitor and drooled on the screen, the end.

When Girl-Child, the last of the flock to leave the nest, started kindergarten in the fall; I imagined three glorious me-time hours five days a week. Someone has an overactive imagination. Those hours are quickly scheduled with various whatnot and some of that involves the volunteering that I do at the elementary school. It's not that I don't enjoy it, it's just that sometimes? I just don't wanna. Like yesterday. It was pouring down rain and the last thing I wanted to do was spend the morning with energetic, three foot tall, clingy, grabby, can't follow multi-step instructions, sticky fingered children...that aren't mine except for one.

[Informational aside: the class is run in rotating "centers". One group is in reading, one in math, another group does "seat work" at their desks, and the other is in art center. As the volunteer, I oversee the art center group and help with the seat work while the two teachers run reading and math...now you're up to speed]

And the more time I spend in the kindergarten class the more it becomes glaringly obvious: I could never be a kindergarten teacher. I shall list the reasons:

1) I lack a certain amount of patience. Where certain amount equals: any at all.

2) I am not able to repeat warnings in a sing-songy voice. I'm more of a it's my way or the highway kind of grown-up.

3) The little girl that has made a career in keeping me informed of who isn't doing their work, and who hasn't written their name on their paper, and who didn't color their paper as instructed, and who forgot their homework folder, and who was absent yesterday, and who just blew their nose and the hue and consistency of what landed in that tissue? That little girl, bugs the everloving crap out of me. And I can barely contain myself from telling her to mind her own damn business and no one ever liked a tattle-tale. [ Hello, have we met? I'm 37 going on 10]

4) The little girl who tells people where they can sit, and who can sit with whom, and who she'll be gracing her presence with to play with that day, and who she won't, and who would like for me to read all the riddles from her yogurt container to her? Is in for a rude awakening. Tootsie is not going to read to the little girl who wouldn't let Tootsie's daughter sit next to her at the art center table. That little girl is lucky Tootsie didn't push her down.

5) The little boy who simply will not do his work but would like to distract the others' from doing theirs? Yeah, he's not ready for kindergarten. If he hasn't got with the program by now, he ain't a gettin'. Send him home and away from me. And also? I'm not motivated to encourage him. In fact, I don't give a fricken frack.

6) That boy who hums CONSTANTLY?!!? Yeah, that needs to stop.

7) My threshold for girls that CRY OVER EVER SINGLE REAL OR IMAGINED THING is excessively low. Man the hell up, Damsel in Distress. There is no sense in crying over glue on your finger. Or the lack of pink handled scissors. Or Monday.

8) Projectile Boy: crayons are not missiles. Nor are pencils. Or whateverthehellelse it is you're throwing across the room.

9) Rainy day schedule. Inside recess - need I say more?

Raise your hand if you're glad that a certain someone is not the parent volunteer in your child's classroom.

64 comments:

hokgardner said...

Yeah that pretty much sums up my feelings on helping in kindergarten classes, too. Well said.

Kristi said...

I am you. You are me.

Rebecca said...

Sometimes I cry over Mondays... kidding... kinda. Anyway, I too volunteer in my K & 1st graders classes and I too could NEVER teach those grades. I'm pretty sure their teachers are saints.

Amanda said...

YES!

I love love love my kids' teachers because I don't understand for one second how in the heck they do it.

g said...

Volunteering in my son's kindergarten was the hardest work I've ever done!!

I stuck with it, because at that school there were very few volunteers.

But you know what? At his next school, there were so many volunteers that I didn't feel too bad about slo-o-o-w-w-l-l-y reducing my availability......am I bad?

Stacie said...

You can always come and volunteer in my child's class so that I don't have to do it. What ever happened to "Bye my child! Have a nice day! See you at the bus stop later?" I think we're suckers. It was when I was volunteering one day that I realized that there are very few children on the earth that I like...other than my own. Man the hell up! you so crack me up!!!

Stacie said...

BTW, I think "centers" is a stupid way to teach children. It's distracting and counterproductive. Ok off of my soapbox...I'm going...and the wonder why all of our kids have "ADD."

Bunny Bunster said...

Yeah, I feel your pain. I used to help out at Sunday School. They didn't like it much when I told the kids to "Sit down and shut the Hell up!!"
Whatever!

Karen said...

Oh yeah, that pretty much is why I am not a teacher either!
However there is one kid in my daughter's kindergarten class that trumps them all. We at home refer to him as BRAEDEN WITH NO INSIDE VOICE!

♥georgie♥ said...

LMAO@ man the hell up...that was my personal fav...
Teacher he cutted me...this is why i do not sub at the elementary level

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I'm an effing idiot, IDIOT I tell you. I lurve all those little whiners and throwers and tattlers.

But I couldn't be a teacher. Once a week is plenty.

jennisg said...

Yep, know just what you mean...however, I learned this lesson with the first child, and now just ignore the pleas with the second and third. It took me one day of volunteering in a first grade room and I was done. I mean I was "room sitting" with the teacher out in the hallway testing kids and I couldn't even handle that.....Because you know I just never could decide if Bob should be able to go to the bathroom for the fourth time (because surely he didn't really need to go again - but I wasn't cleaning up no messes if he did and I wouldn't let him go)or Angela was really sick and gonna blow chunks on the desk or just trying to fae to go sit in the nurses office.....Plus I agree I absolutely do not like 99% of children other than my own...

Bridget said...

Actually, I'm raising my hand because I'm glad I'm not an elementary school volunteer.

calicobebop said...

You are my hero - how many moms would volunteer for Elementary School? This one wouldn't and won't!

BTW, the over-emotional girl? That's mine. If you can tell me how to get her man-up I'd appreciate it. So frustrating!

smalltownmom said...

You're going to think I'm crazy because after years of volunteering at my son's school, then I got a job there as an aide!

Everything you feel, I feel on a daily basis. We've got all those types: the tattletails, the crybabies, and the interrupters. And rainy day recess duty? That's MY job. AAAARRRRGGGHHH!

RuthWells said...

I'm sure your tongue was firmly in cheek for this post, but I actually have a serious comment re: the boy who hums constantly. My youngest was a non-stop hummer during the pre-k and kindergarten. In spring of 1st grade, he was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. The humming is a form of self-stimulation, and the boy in your daughter's class might have a similar autism-spectrum disorder. Just a thought.

babs said...

Ha ha, got a good laugh over this one. I am so glad my kids are older now and I'm beyond all that. You sound a lot like me and I never had patience for that sort of stuff either. I would have made a TERRIBLE k-garten teacher!

Miss M said...

I'm raising both hands actually. This also sums up why I could never home school my children. You are a saint for even volunteering.

barbra said...

Oh, Tootsie! I was art center mom in my daughter's Kindergarten class yesterday! I was there before recess, but the teachers were clearly in dread about the rainy day ahead of them.

The boy who doesn't want to do any work, just distract the others? There are too many of those in my daughter's class.

Since I was a teacher before SAHM-ing, and the parent population at our (Catholic) school is not happy with the Kindergarten teacher, people are always saying to me, "you should be the Kindergarten teacher!"

I am QUICK to say, "I taught seventh grade! I don't know anything about teaching Kindergarten!" Yeah, gotta nip that idea in the bud. NO WAY.

rn terri said...

I am a school nurse. I work part time, and believe me, that is ENOUGH. I have complete respect for our teachers, Lord knows I could not handle it and maintain what little sanity I have left.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Amen. Other people's children are unbearable. Actually, so are my own, most of the time....

Laura said...

I'm laughing, cause, yeah, I don't have kids, and posts like this make me feel good about that. I think God knew I wouldn't be able to handle Disney films or volunteering in class!

Mrs. G. said...

Yeah, don't come to my classroom anytime soon. Big scary mom.

Lisa..... said...

And that's why I don't do that kind of volunteering. I am much more of a bake stuff and send money kind of mom.

Baby Favorite said...

I can totally relate.

The only reason I ever volunteer is to reconfirm that I have done a damned good job raising my own kids.

Sounds conceited, and it is, but it's the truth.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Maybe you could ask the teacher for some things to cut out at home?

Ringleader said...

My kids all have versions of those kids in their classes every year. That is why I am party mom (twice per year), art lit mom (only once per month) and then otherwise- mom who volunteers in ways that don't necessarily involve contact with kids other than my own! Although- I have come away- each and every time- quietly high fiving myself for pretty mcu having some of the only kids in the class that aren't completely annoying and therefore I must be an AWESOME mom... right?

Undomestic Diva said...

Other peoples' kids aren't nearly as cute, tolerable or even likeable. THERE. I SAID IT.

The Mother said...

Oh, yeah. This is exactly why I volunteered as rarely as humanly possible.

And why I homeschooled preferentially.

And why my homeschooled kids just got their work done. 'Cause mommy isn't as nice as a REAL teacher.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh man, I totally THINK those things. I never say them out loud though. I fear they'd report me somewhere...

ella said...

I work 3 days a month (that's right "a month") as an art teacher. It's enough. I've certainly learned to curb my emotions, but we're all right there with you. Kids are brats and what I hate the most is the parents who don't think their little angel is doing anything wrong.
To the commenter who didn't like centers: I disagree, you gotta have a small group once in a while. yes the other centers may be fluff, but there's simply no way to see all 20 (or coming to a CA school near you very soon, 25) kids at once in group instruction.
I'm positive your kid's teacher loves that you're there for her.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

My creative juices went south also, mainly because I figured nobody would want to hear me whine day in and day out.

I don't volunteer in the classroom because there's always at least one kid tha gets on my last damn nerve. I do volunteer on the playground though. There's something about closing all that energy in that irritates the hell out of me.

Swirl Girl said...

I wish you WERE the parent volunteer in my child's classroom. Is bitch slapping a 5 year old against the rules??

Lee of MWOB said...

This post is music to my ears - another mama who realizes that most every other kid besides my own bugs the everloving crap out of me. Okay maybe even my own kids do too but I love the crap out of them so it's all okay.

I always think every other parent that volunteers NEVER thinks what I think...and this post makes me realize maybe some of them do. But they only write about it on their blog..

:-)

Jennifer H said...

Hell, right now I'm just glad that I'm not a parent volunteer. And the school should be glad, too. For insurance purposes.

But I'm very glad this popped up in my reader. :-)

Melissa said...

Holy crap, I thought I was the only one that felt like this. In fact, I haven't even volunteered but once this year.

In an hour and a half I wanted to poke my eyeballs out.

You are a braver woman then I am!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Oh, I used to be the same way and give them deadly looks. I thought all little kids, excluding my own, were just a bunch of spoiled brats that needed a good talking to. Strangely enough, I always got asked to do more volunteer work in the classroom, but if they had only known my true feelings. I pretended to be very patient, but underneath it all? I think I was going for the Nobel Peace Prize for Bravery While Under Stress.

Dr. Mom said...

So true!!!

I used to teach high school. It doesn't get any better. I stopped and now I am happy...and make more money. Teachers are saints.

Burgh Baby said...

And that is why I miss you.

Michele said...

Hi there,
I found your blog on Madame Queen's blog. I have spent half the day reading your posts and giggling and I am not finished...and I am way not finished with whatever I was supposed to do here today......
Really enjoy your writing. I think the same kind of stuff about kids at school. Helps me appreciate mine more! My husband is a teacher at the school. I just started a blog about 2 weeks ago and you've inspired me -- shown me that you can write about good/interesting stuff from the past...as I am thinking about what to write about. I grew up in West L.A. but have lived in GA for half my life now. Have 3 boys: 7th grade, 5th and 2nd.

Heide said...

Oh boy, I couldn't do it either. When my kid was two and going to pre-school two mornings a week, I'd bring him in and then back out of the room in horror. The kindergarteners are better, but I'm in total awe of the teachers for being able to do that. And grateful that you're out there volunteering, which I'm not able to do because I juggle work with caring for my kid.

stu said...

I spent one, two hour period with my wife's middle school class and wanted to murder several of them. Stephanie's comment was "oh, they were great for you" Waah? This is why I am an engineer.

-Stu

Anonymous said...

I laugh because it is all true. I work in a kindergarten class, and have seen it all (you should see how fast I can grab a garbage can on the run and deposit it in front of an about-to-puke child...too bad that's not an olympic sport...i'd be on the Wheaties Box for sure!).
But, for all the grief and headache it can be, there are some great moments...like a hug goodbye everyday...or a special handmade card from the painfully shy kid, or when they accidently call you "MOM".
From someone who works there...THANKS to all you parent volunteers! You may not realize it, but you are a GREAT HELP in the class (at the very least, you make the adult-to-munchkin ratio more even!!!)
Annie

katydidnot said...

can you come and be the parent volunteer at my job? because all those people you described? i work with them. in grown up form.

that was worth waiting a week. you crack me the f up.

my verification word is ablesperm. swear to god.

kcinnova said...

You just listed some of the many reasons why I cannot earn my keep as a teacher.
Go to middle school and high school and you will be able to name the rest of my reasons.

[my word verification? "licksi"]

Housewife Savant said...

After a year of faithful blog reading I’ve gone over to the Dark Side and started my own. A bloggin’ pal honored me with a pass-along award, and yours is one of my favorites. Would you kindly visit my site and accept it? because I’m too much of a ‘tard to post a link ( no offense to countless ‘tards I’ve known who’re perfectly capable.)
Love your blog.
http://housewifesavant.blogspot.com/2009/02/award-pour-moi.html

JoeinVegas said...

I really hope you are saying those things to those kids (even if one of them was mine), as it sounds like some of them have never been taught how to interact. That is what kindergarten is for, so kids that have had very little interaction with somebody other than their parents can learn what they should do. So please, help them.

O'Neal (The Woman In Charge Around Here) said...

Oh, so that's what all those papers that come home wanting my signature are for! The way *I* see it, tuition is $430 a month,a service *I* pay for, so I shouldn't have to go and do the job I'm paying them for. I am busy enough doing all the extravagant assignments they send home every week. That reminds me, I need to get busy on the final draft of my 4th grade writing assignment!

Looking back over that comment I sound a little bithcy, but in my defense my child has a LD so the advanced work they send home takes us 10 times longer than a normal kid AND I have a 2 year old attached to my hip at all times!

Anonymous said...

OMG - I teach college and this sounds like students in my science labs. And that's about the SAME amount of patience I have for them. Some of these people are older than I am and can't read and follow written instructions (and if they are multi-step, totally forget it.) If I can't do adults, I certainly can't do kindergarten.

lapoflux said...

Ah - this sounds like my Tuesday mornings. Except that the teacher is scary too. I've been known to let Julia stay home "sick" to avoid going in.
Love the descriptions of all the kids. They're the same everywhere aren't they (howled at the princess one - I often think about "taking" kids who are mean to my kids...)

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

The #3 kid? I am almost tempted to have someone hit her and then pretend I didn't see it. Tattle telling is SOO not something I can deal with well.

apathetic bliss said...

I heart you

Reeky said...

my wife and I have both volunteer to help in the classroom, go on field trips, and with other school events like field day.

my hardest part is NOT treating them like the helpless little things most of them are. I talk to my kids not down to them, they have always been responsive to it, it's tough when I have to deal with kids that almost act younger than their age.

Here's an example of how I tend to treat kids. One time (with permission) I brought in geodes, a couple of socks, safety glasses, and a hammer. I explained to them safety and employed the saftey circle. Had one child at a time was given the hammer and we allowed to crack open the geode. I blew me away that many had never touched a hammer. And that they could believe an adult was letting them TOUCH a hammer. I'm an artist so it's not like I am mister tool guy but I've taught my son and daughter the way around a tool box. (this geode episode wasn't kindergarten but they were young)

hippo brigade said...

I couldn't do it. Nope. And the teacher that sings warnings? I'd have to punch her in the mouth. Big time.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I used to think K teachers had the gravy job of elementary ed teachers. That is until I had two Kindergarteners and I volunteered in both their classrooms... They have a special talent.

KEEP BELIEVING

Tiffaney said...

I feel like I've been put on a Tootsie starvtion diet...alas no postings... *sniffle*...but really, don't let my guilt trip influence you (hahaha) ;)

Madame Queen said...

You have just enumerated all the reasons why I will also never be a kindergarten teacher. I realized after having kids that I pretty much only like my own. And then only sometimes. :)

cactus petunia said...

Yee Ha! Thank God you're back...wanna come up and help me do a sewing project with 34 six to eight year olds on Monday? I could use some backup!

JCK said...

You may not be on much lately, but man...you kick ass when you are! :)

I hear you on life taking over. I hear you most definitely.

Saucy said...

My kid was the one that hummed constantly and when he came home I wanted him to stop too. Seriously, it's good to be happy and all but happy + annoying??? Not cool.

I am a bad mother.

Julia said...

I taught for 32 years. I had more patience with other people's kids than my own. I got to send theirs back to them. Mine came home with me. Also, I wanted mine to be perfect and when they weren't I wasn't either. I've gone back part time. Missed it. I mostly taught 6th grade though. Started out with Kindergarten and moved up as my own got older. Got over the nose wiping, etc.....

Nora said...

You just made me want to homeschool. Not you. Those children, are they real? Holy crap.

Nancy R said...

Ditto.

So much ditto that I linked to you.

SO MUCH DITTO!

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