Monday, October 17, 2011

Columbus Day

Columbus Day was an extremely busy day for me! I got the kids up in the morning and ready for school then proceeded to get myself ready for the day and over to the school half an hour later to volunteer in Oralee's classroom.

I love working in the classroom! I would love to be a teacher but that is one education that takes more time and resources than I have available to give to it unfortunately. So instead, I choose to volunteer. Oralee is a kindergartener. I volunteered in Cephas' class with he was in Kindergarten, as well as in Koren's class at that grade as well.

I was assigned to the Art table. I had two kids at a time come up to the table as assigned and they would work on identifying the pictures, determining which ones started with the same letter sound as their letter of the week ("M") and then they would cut the pictures out as well as arms and legs for a monster book they are working on and then they would glue the pictures inside the monster book. After they had done that, they could color the pictures. They had twenty minutes to do this.

Let me preface this by stating one thing: Kindergarteners are not all equal in their scissor skills. Very few kids got everything cut out that needed to be in order to glue it in their books, fewer yet got all their pictures glued into their book and not one of them had time to color the pictures.

It may just be me and the era I was raised in but it seems to me that the upper grades (3rd-5th) in grade school are not much different in the material taught than it was when I was in those grades. However, the younger (and more specifically, the youngest!) grades seem so focused and driven. I'm not quite sure what to make of it all.

I mean, when I was five, I went to Kindergarten. My teacher's name was Ms. Schnott. (yes, "shhh-not"). I hated her with a passion. Our basic day was to get to the classroom for our half-day of learning. We would sit on the rug, do our calendar time, say the Pledge of Allegiance and have books read to us and we would do little papers and get into the routine of a school day. We had recess and nap time.

Now, Kindergarten is full-day. There is no nap time, however, there are two recess periods I believe. It is very academic. Instead of children learning their letters and numbers and colors and shapes and the things that we were learning at this age, they are doing that as well as learning to read and add and subtract and do many many different activities. It is just so...busy, I suppose.

I don't know, I guess that is actually the kind of environment I was craving when I was five. (I started school reading, writing and doing math on a 1st/2nd grade level) However, with that being said, I really enjoy being a part of the classroom. With the requirements that our state and local governments put on our educational professionals, on top of the ones that our national government puts on them, I am glad to be able to help out and to help assist the teacher and the students both. The teacher needs additional adults to be sure that each child is learning to their full potential and the kids need that guidance time. And for me, it is additional time that I get to see at least one of my kiddos! That is one thing that always warms my heart and I am grateful for that!

Here's to another wonderful, fun, exciting Kindergarten year!