Volunteering at School - Today's Mama

Volunteering at School

The first year I helped was for the Kindergarten Halloween party. I made sugar cookies from scratch for the kids to decorate. I was also totally nervous.
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Do you volunteer at your kid's school?

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The first year I helped was for the Kindergarten Halloween party. I made sugar cookies from scratch for the kids to decorate. I was also totally nervous. I mean, I know I'm an adult and a mom, but who could have guessed that moms are just people who are winging it, too? When I got to the class my son was thrilled. "Hey everyone, this is my MOM," he said, "And she makes the best cookies EVER." Just let me melt into the ground.

I clearly remember the moms who helped in my elementary school classes. We shall not speak of the ruinous 2nd Grade St. Patrick's Day party with the green milk and green treats that gave me a life-long aversion to artificially colored anything. GREEN MILK. So help me...

My kid is in a Spanish language immersion program; he spends half the day in Spanish class and the other half in English. Since I'm one of the few parents who are fluent in Spanish, I have to volunteer. Well, I don't HAVE to, but there aren't enough people to help the kids with their writing and compositions otherwise. I go in for one morning a week. Just like the teacher, I won't speak anything except Spanish. This confuses the kids from the neighborhood who are used to me speaking in English. I remember one kid in the first week giving me a stink-eye and saying, "HEY, you can talk NORMAL. Why are you speaking Spanish? You can talk NORMAL."

(Then I explained in Spanish that this is Spanish class and in Spanish class we speak Spanish. ¿De acuerdo?)

A friend of mine told me she likes to volunteer at school because she gets to know the kids and the faculty. She's on the inside and hears the dirt, all to get the best teachers for her kids. I keep thinking of what it was like when I worked full-time, I could only help once in a while, like with that Halloween party. As a former full-time in an office worker, a big thank you to the moms who do have the flexibility to volunteer at school.

I love to volunteer because I know I'm really helping. My kids' faces brighten up when I walk in the door. It's fun to relay stories of what happened in class, or funny things the kids say, to the other parents. I like to see that the teachers have orderly and controlled rooms. It's only once a week, but it's one of the highlights.

What have you learned from volunteering at school?

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