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We're on our second child going through pre-school yet somehow or another I had never taken the opportunity serve a turn as a class parent helper. Well that all changed last week as I was the designated "Parent Helper" for my daughter's nursery school class at Plymouth Congregational Church.
Our son had attended another program where the opportunity did not exist for parents to assist as "helpers" but upon enrolling our daughter Lena at Plymouth last year we discovered that they encouraged active participation by parents in the classroom on a regular basis. The school makes it easy to sign up by posting a sign up sheet by each classroom. For one reason or another, it seems like the vast majority of parent helpers are moms, but dads get involved as well as grandparents. Not wanting to be left out I had my wife sign me up and finally the big day came!
Part of the job of parent helper is to bring snacks for the class to share. So, on the big day Lena and I arrived early with a willing attitude and a bucket of snacks in hand. Lena was super excited to be having her daddy at school with her and I was eager to see firsthand what goes on for those 2.5 hours she is in school each day. Soon after arriving and greeting the teacher, Miss Denise and staffer Barbie, I donned the yellow button of honor and was given my first task, meeting the parents out front dropping off their children and making sure the children did not get lost on the way to the class. This was too awesome a task for just one helper though, so Barbie assisted.
Barbie, being an old hand, flanked me and got the first bunch of bundled up pupils safely from their vehicle, expertly escourting them off to the side of the drive, shutting the door while thanking the parent and ushering the next car up all in one fluid motion. I was a little intimidated. Barbie was good and I'd have to on top of my game to do as well. Fortunately, I took to it well and with Barbie and I alternately opening doors and sheperding the children inside, all sixteen of our eager charges were ready to start their day.
The theme was "outer space" and there were numerous activites related to the topic to be enjoyed. After blowing off some energy in the gym, we started out with a story about a little alien who comes to earth on Halloween and is mistaken for just another costumed kid. I made the mistake of sitting behind the class in a chair. I quickly recognized my error when Lena looked back sadly and motioned for me to come join her on the mat with the other children. She wanted to sit in my lap while Ms. Denise animatedly read the tale of the intrepid little alien far from home. She snuggled up tightly in my arms and sat enraptured as the story unfolded.
Moving on to the next activity, I got in trouble with Ms. Denise by spinning the model of the solar system incorrectly. I spun the sun when everybody knows that the planets spin around the sun. To my credit though the planets did NOT spin freely. Anyhow, humbled, crisis past, I was put in charge of rotating the 16 through turns at the blackboard drawing space aliens, planets, stars or anything else space related. As you can see, Lena chose the alien option, above left.
Next up was making space aliens using a cd rom disc, a half a ball of styrofoam, glue, glitter, beads, feathers, pipe cleaners and other baubles. Everyone tore into the task with ablomb, and when finished they made their way to the "spaceship" in the corner to take turns blasting off into outer space. When the ruckus subsided I was entrusted to pick up the space alien parts that had made their way under the table and subsequently had been tracked around the room. Lena was a big help in getting under the kids sized tables and picking up the littlest bits.
Moving on we sang songs, talked more about space and planets and worked up a big appetite for our snacks. Lena was charged with distributing the snack bags of pretzels, blueberry rice cakes, and dried fruit that she and my wife had lovingly assembled the night before. Ever keen to set up a party and play hostess, Lena was in her element and thoroughly glowed with pride as she handed each of her classmates a snack and received a hearty "thank you!" in return. After snack time was another round of cleanup in which Lena was again a willing participant, finding all the tiny bits of pretzels trying to hide behind chair and table legs. Everything cleaned up and with five chairs to a table we got ready to wrap it up. Two and a half hours had had passed quickly and parents began massing in the halls outside, fresh from a few hours off for themselves. The special little bubble of the five year old's world I shared had burst and we were back from space, in the real world.
A special privelege is bestowed upon the child whose parent is helper that day, they get to be the first to leave. Seizing the fleeting moment, I had Barbie snap a quick picture of the two of us before we exited the class and made our way home. I only got about a foot before a waiting mother called out "Sir, you might not want to wear that button all day!" giggling in concert with another mom, both letting me know that I had forgotten to remove my "Parent helper" badge of honor. "Oh, yeah!" I laughingly replied, carefully removing the chevron that had defined my status that morning. I refrained from telling the the woman however that given the chance, I just might have wanted to keep it on.
Contact Matt Grohe Realtor® RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts - 3125 Douglas Ave #205 Douglas Ave. Des Moines, IA , or call 515-988-3726 to list your property for sale or to purchase a property in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale, Ankeny, Waukee, Norwalk, Carlisle or surrounding areas.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.