Friday, October 30, 2015

What I learned by volunteering at my kids school

I signed up for PTO when my boys moved to a new school. 

Yesterday I went to the school to help with grandparents lunch. 
All I had to do was sit for an hour and take up money from grandparents who have chosen to eat with their sweet precious grand babies. 

But instead of just seeing grandparents excited about seeing their grandchildren that day, I saw what I always wondered happened during school hours. 

I was hidden behind a wall so 99% of the things that I witnessed left me out of their view. I knew these same things were done daily. With or without visitors there. 

I saw the principal walking the halls and hugging every single child that she met. I don't know how she did it but she knew every one of their names and sometimes even details of their life which she also asked about. 

I saw teachers of younger grades walking their current class to centers, or lunch, or where ever and giving a silent high five to their old students as they passed them in the hall. 

I watched as children after children walked into the nurses office and heard her gently tell each one that she was sorry they felt bad. She did what I always hoped a school nurse would do since I wasn't there. She told them it was alright and tried her best to make each and every child feel better. Some left and went back to class and others waited for their parents to come get them. 
(And now I know why my kids like going to her office so much) 

I saw students helping other students. A tiny little girl who left the nurses office dropped her agenda in the hall way and without hesitation another child, probably no more than 2nd grade, came rushing over to help her pick it back up. 

I think all parents wish they knew what happens at school. I know I do. But what I want you to know about our school, Demorest Elementary, is that our children are shown love. They are shown gentleness, respect, and kindness. 

I wish everyone who had a child at the school could experience what I experienced yesterday. It was the shortest hour of my life and I left feeling so proud that my children will get to go there for the coming years. For the parents who can, JOIN PTO! It's not a burden! It's truly a blessing! 
It's like a tiny sneak peak at what your babies do during the day and it helps us all stay connected. I have met several other PTO members at meetings and working at the school on days like these and I have always left feeling blessed. 

To our principal, Dr. Yearwood, 
I have no idea how you do it. Some days I can't even remember my own 5 kids names and somehow you called at least 10 kids by the correct name in just one walk down the hall. You gave my son a hug. You didn't see me. You asked about his day. And you seemed genuinely excited when he told you he was having a great day. It was a total of one minute from the time you said "Good Morning Brennon" to the time you said "I hope this day gets even better!" but it has stayed with me for well over 24 hours. I smile when I think about what you do for these children. I wont tell you enough this year, or next year or the year after that, but Thank you. Thank you for all you do. 

To our school nurse, 
I talk to you way too much this year but I wanted to acknowledge what you do. I watched and heard you do what most moms want to do when their child starts to feel bad. You are gentle with them. Your voice never raises. (or didn't during my hour there) Sick kids are tough man. Perfectly well children who think they are sick (or sick of sitting in class) are even tougher. But you handled each child with such grace. I don't know how you send kids back to class not in tears but I think it's ubber impressive. I haven't figured out a nice way to say "You're faking it" so I'll be requesting lessons and taking notes this year because you are a total pro. 

I can't possibly address every teacher I saw. To be honest, I think I only knew 1 by name. (I'm horrible with names) but you guys rock too! 

I know everyone thinks their school is awesome but I really think ours is the best! 
And I had some pretty high expectations coming into this school from our previous one. (Which is the best school in SC)