Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Mom Musings: Preschool Volunteering

We've had a bunch of school year firsts in the last couple of weeks, and at the end of last week I had my first day volunteering in Aubri's 3-year old preschool class.  Last year I was able to regularly volunteer in Landon's 4-year old class, which I loved.  Aubri is fortunate enough to have the same awesome teacher this year.  I was thinking that it would be a smooth transition with both of us familiar with both the classroom and the teacher.  But I quickly learned that volunteering at preschool with Aubri in particular might be slightly different than I was used to.
 
Aubri as the classic third child is carefree and outgoing, which I love because she's fun.  But she's also got a bit of sass and stubbornness, which can be seen in her interactions with us at home.  Even though Aubri and I are very close, she likes to test me in ways that her older siblings never have.  While Shaylin and Landon seem to enjoy learning from me at home, and also like having me help out in class, Aubri is much less enthusiastic about both.  I think she likes having me at school, but she doesn't like me to necessarily help her while there.  She has always brushed me off when I have tried to teach her basic things like letters and numbers.  She also continues her "I can do it myself" attitude with me in class, exactly as if we were at home.  Sometimes she'll surprise me with what she knows though, which makes me wonder at times if she's just smarter than us all, and just messing with me. ;)

The first project I helped out with was a cutting project where the kids had to cut along short lines drawn on a green rectangle.  The end result would look like grass. While most of the kids welcomed me adjusting their grip and showing them how to cut, Aubri was quick to yank the scissors, push me away and declare she can do it.  She proceeded to cut the paper into a million tiny pieces and made quite a mess.  I gave her two chances and she cut up both into tiny pieces.  I began to fear that she'd be the only kid not to complete the project.  I decided I was going to give her one last sheet.  During the short time that I was helping another kid, all of a sudden I looked and she had cut the lines just fine all by herself.  I took turns helping out the other kids for the same amount of time during her first two attempts so the the amount of attention wasn't it.  She was deliberately doing the project wrong on purpose because she wanted to do it on her own terms and time.  I was incredibly frustrated at her approach, yet proud of her cutting at the same time.  What a mess!  I wish I had gotten a picture of the infamous sheet of "grass" and her previous pile of cutouts.
One thing is for sure, it will be an interesting year being with her in preschool, and a learning experience for me, for sure.  I hope we both are able to find the best way to work together and have fun while we're at it.  And I hope she grows to enjoy having me help teach her things. I'm excited for all that she will learn and the friendships she will make in preschool and am thankful that I'll be there to see a lot of it.  And I'm just looking forward to the time we will get together in this school environment. 

Let me know if you have had any similar teaching struggles with your kids and how you overcame them.  I'm always open to learning new tips and tricks!

(note: pics are from the first three days of school)

xo,
Carly 

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