Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Surviving Volunteering at the Spring Concert

Last week I mentioned that the principal asked if I would volunteer to help the first grade teacher watch the first grade class while they waited for their turn to perform at the Spring concert.

Let me say for the record and I think we all agree, teachers have a tough job and don't get paid enough. That said, I have to think that the most difficult part of the job is dealing with a gaggle of kids and keeping your sanity.

Back to my volunteer efforts, I went up to the first grade classrooms to meet with one of the other first grade teachers and the other mom volunteers (hey, do the dads ever volunteer?) There were about 80 kids who were partaking in the Spring concert and were grouped in one classroom to watch a movie. Seems impossible, right, a class meant for 22 kids holding 80 kids but somehow they all fit.

As we waited and the kids enjoyed watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in relative quiet with of course, the burst of laughter. Then, we decided that we should ask if anyone had to go to the bathroom as a precaution to avoid having an accident during the concert. Good grief, all of sudden 30 kids had to go to the bathroom. Talk about mass chaos.  After we dealt with the bathroom break, we had to calm them down and literally corral them to go downstairs to the auditorium.

I am not kidding about corraling kids. Lining up 80 kids in an orderly manner, getting them to look straight ahead, and quietly to boot is a test in patience. Goodness. As we waited in the gym to lead them in the auditorium, I unluckily pulled the back of the line duty. Imagine you have been sitting for 45 minutes, you have to stand in line and wait for 5 minutes and you are in the back of the line. Those kids were literally all over the place. One little boy kept wandering around me, behind me. You have to eyes in the back of your head to keep them all in place. I kept having visions of losing a child. Can you imagine? NO!!!

Finally, it was time to go into the auditorium. It's funny the perspective you have when you are leading them into the auditorium. The kids naturally start looking for their parents and the parents start snapping photos  and waving to their child. Very endearing, touching and sweet.

Needless to say getting them on stage was a piece of cake since they were excited to sing for their parents and family and I was happy to at least sit and enjoy the concert. After they sang their three songs, we had to take them back up up to the classroom and wait for the other classes to perform and then head back down to the finale.

Again, we had to quiet them down from the excitement and have them wait. Needless to say, there were some antsy kids in the room.

After 10 minutes, we had to line them up again and lead them back down to the auditorium. What can I say, it was chaos all over again.  The finale was quite chaotic since all three grades were up on the stage but I did not care, it was great and the kids get so excited to sing.

Bet you thought I was done, nope. We had to take the kids to the cafeteria where the parents could pick up their kids. My oh my, kids, parents everywhere.  After the last child was found by their parent, we were free to go.

I am glad I volunteered, it always a good thing to see all the kids my daughter talks about and how they interact and frankly I like the backstage view. I think every parent should volunteer because its not easy managing that many kids, it really offers a new respect for what the teachers to every day.

Will I volunteer again? Probably, only because it makes my daughter happy.


gaynycdad said...

Hey, I saw a dad volunteer! Not me of course. I do help at the bake sales, if only to spy on my son at lunch time!
Lovely table by the way!

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