Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Volunteering In The Wrong Classroom

Volunteer day at Sebastian's school went well. I walked into his class & sat down in a tiny chair, where I had a good view of la maestra conducting class. The kids were gathered on the large rug in front of her. There happened to be another volunteer there. I asked her if her kid was in the class. She said that her kid was in the other teacher's class & added that the class in front of us was her child's class. I looked down to find Sebastian & quickly realized that he was not on the rug. I casually slipped out & found him next door.

There were 7 kids total in Sebastian's reading group, including him. The woman teaching them was a volunteer, another child's mom. There were four reading groups. The teacher (the other dual language teacher, not his regular teacher) taught one group and I don't know who the other 2 ladies teaching were. I really liked the woman teaching Sebastian's group. I sat with them & helped when I could. I helped the kid next to Sebastian read his book. I read the entire thing, pointing to each word, when I finally understood that he didn't know how to read & only spoke Spanish. Sebastian looked at me when I started reading and said, "Molly, I don't think you know how to read Spanish." I kept reading & Sebastian didn't say another word about it. How different the school environment can make you! Sebastian read more than he did during his last reading group, according to the lady instructing them. She said that she could hear him this time. I heard him too, he wasn't repeating a lot of the words that were being read, but he was repeating some & with confidence. Even though that was my first time in his reading group, I still knew for certain that there had been definite progress with him.

And progress turned up when his usual maestra taught as well! She drew sticks for one exercise. She called upon the child whose name was on the stick she drew. She drew every single stick. Sebastian's turn was near the end. The students had to use at least one of the "S" words that the teacher had written on the large paper behind them & create a sentence with it that contained at least one adjective about it. La maestra did not allow any repetitive sentences. There were less than 10 "S" words to choose from and 30 kids so they had to get creative pretty quickly! I was nervous for Sebastian, but found out there was no need to be. She called on him. He thought for all of 6 seconds and then said, "El sol es grande." Nicely done!!

Sebastian was tense during reading group, but the level of confidence he had during his regular class had gone up. He did the alphabet loudly with his class, doing all of the movements they do for each letter. That he had learned in kindergarten.

It was 11am and Sebastian's class appeared to be heading to lunch. I didn't actually know what she had just told them to get in line for, but I did see 2 kids, each holding one side of a large laundry basket full of lunch boxes. I assumed wrong. They were heading to P.E. to run the track & learn about flash football. Before I left to find them at P.E. I talked with the other volunteer who had just shown up. She was able to explain the homework that was so puzzling to Gramma & I. Her daughter had been able to explain it to her well enough for her to figure it out. Turns out they speak Spanish at home, which might be what helped the girl understand her homework directions. But she still wasn't able to tell her mom that it was only practice & that they didn't have to return any of the work they had brought home so far. I know this because her mom asked about this stuff when the teacher came back into the room. The teacher said they will have real homework later, including 20 minutes of reading every night in either Spanish or English.

The teacher hadn't looked at me once when I had sat down to watch the wrong class in the beginning. When the other parent & I questioned her about homework it was obvious that she was being more delightful with the other lady. I am hesitant to think that the principal went to her with our names & concerns. I am betting that la maestra just figured it out. She hasn't emailed me back at all since then. I emailed her yesterday & the day before. The only other time I've emailed her, she returned my email in under 12 hours. So there's that, sigh.

The other dual language teacher was very sweet. I could easily see why my friend had described this teacher to be very "motherly". Her son had been in her class the year before.

Willow refused to walk down the sidewalk when we arrived at Sebastian's school for pick-up. The only way she would continue down the sidewalk was on her hands and feet, jumping like a frog & saying "ribbit, ribbit". Sebastian was upset because we walked around the building in a way that he could see us from his classroom. He said that it reminded him of crying at kindergarten & made him upset. He had also been very upset when I had left from volunteering. I had to get a teacher to walk him to the playground. Turns out he cried through recess & part of class. He told me this when he pulled out a little green card from his backpack. It had a smiley face and a man's name on it. According to Sebastian, that's who you go to when you need a smile. I am assuming this guy is a counselor, but I'm calling tomorrow to make sure & just to see what happened. Sebastian had a substitute teacher the rest of the day after recess, a teacher who taught in English & knew a little Spanish. Even this didn't calm him down. Although he did say it was much better with an English speaking teacher.

While I was with Sebastian at lunch, the teacher announced that all of the students needed to sit "boy girl boy girl". I asked Sebastian why they had to do that & he told me that he thinks it's because it makes the kids quieter. Lunch is a break to eat, relax & chat with friends... right? Maybe I'm crazy. I enjoyed talking with his classmates that were sitting with us at lunch. We discussed of course, Halloween costumes. Apparently Star Wars costumes are going to be big this year. One boy that I hadn't heard speak all day got excited and spoke up when Halloween was mentioned! I talked about Monopoly with one of the kids, apparently there's a Star Wars Monopoly that kids Sebastian's age can play. The girl that came to sit by Sebastian to complete our "boy girl" pattern is a kid that I always end up talking to when I volunteer, usually her doing. She let me know what class was at each table & explained a couple of lunch rules to me, as well as told me about an old friend of hers from preschool, haha. A few kids told Sebastian that we needed to be at the "special table", where kids sit when they have an adult visiting at school. Sebastian didn't like that & gave the last one a very irritated look. I let these children know that I wanted to sit with Sebastian & his friends instead, ha. Lunch rules... sheesh!!!

We had a fill-in aide here today with Judah, along with a new aide shadowing her. They were really fun & sweet. Judah's regular aide was in for a few hours before these 2 arrived. Judah hadn't seen his regular aide in a while. He screamed when he heard her voice after she walked through the door. He was excited to see her. She bragged about a couple of things she had seen & heard him do within the first ten minutes she had arrived. Later they went to the park where Judah approached a little boy saying, "Hi!" Judah & the little boy spent time playing together at the park.

Judah refused to get up off the ground in the school parking lot this morning after he learned that his regular aide would be coming today. He said her name a few times during this rebuttal. One of the teacher's aides came up to save the day. He was happy after school. The teacher told me, "He was awesome." and gave me a big "thumbs up".

I've felt like crap all day. Congestion, runny nose, cough, etc. It is really sticking around!! Everyone else in the house has some form of it as well. It seems to be taking it's toll on Scott & I the most. We're old though. ;)

Judah missed fish oil, coconut butter, vitamin b-6 not needed as he took recently. Missed beta, Iron-up & vitamin d.

He had his rash med & had no bowel movements.

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