The preschool that Mr. T goes to (and that Miss E attended for 2 years) is a parent co-op which means that each day in the classroom there is a teacher, an assistant and 2 or 3 parent helpers. It is part of your school "job" to parent-teach about 2-3 times a month. Now, this is our third year doing this and there have been times where the parent-teaching has been a HUGE pain. You have to find childcare for siblings, take time out of your work day and frankly somedays the classroom is chaotic and loud and crazy. Overall though, I have grown to love this time. Through parent-teaching I know all of the kids my children are going to school with, I know what they do during their school day and get to observe first-hand the teachers and classroom styles and how my kids really are in the classroom. I have learned how to talk to all sorts of kids and how to handle all kinds of different classroom issues. I have learned how to better TEACH my children and that has been a huge plus.
Now that Miss E is going to grade school it is soooo different. Parents are not really welcome in the classroom, I don't know anything really about her teacher or how the classroom runs. I ask her questions and she answers them but it's not the same as being there. Peter was the first parent volunteer of the year in Kindergarten this morning and we were so excited to see how it went. But it turns out he mostly did administrative things - changing out bulletin boards, making copies, etc. We were both assuming it would be working with the kids and he was a bit disappointed that it wasn't.
However, this morning while he was doing that, I had the pleasure of teaching in Mr. T's class for the first time this year and it was chaotic and joyful and I left knowing every kid's name and a little bit about their temperament and really seeing how Mr. T behaves in this classroom. Above is a picture of him doing an art project - they had powdered paint and a clear base and were shaking the powdered paint on the paper to mix colors. So messy but so fun. I know this is our last year of parent-teaching (and we are only doing it for one kid this year instead of two!) and I will miss it so much. It really has been the most positive start to their school careers I could have imagined. Loving teachers, interesting and changing curriculum and we get to be at the center of it with our kids.