Monday, November 13, 2006

Daddy day at school!

Last Wednesday was Chris' Geography presentation at Gracie's school~He presented to all 7 1st grade classes in 2 different groups. He did a great job! His job is directly related to the geography field, so it was right up his alley to do a presentation for 'GIS day' during 'National Geography Week' (which I actually think is this week.) Unfortunately, due to Katie being sick, I didn't to go watch but in the words of Mrs. Stauffer.....

Chris......Your presentation was wonderful. The kids and teachers all loved it. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Please do not get rid of this presentation as I will be calling you next year to come in and do it again. Gracie might leave my room but I tend to keep using the parents. Again thanks for all your hard work and the great presentation.........Stauffer

I was very proud of him for doing this. It's a little out of his comfort zone to do things like this but I believe parental involvement~on the part of both parents~is so important when it comes to our children. I didn't even have to ask him to do this either. He volunteered the first day we met Mrs. Stauffer; I didn't know anything about it.
Here's a proud Gracie with her daddy!
Since I didn't get to go in to help on Wednesday (which is my usual day to go help) I went on Friday. It was Chris' Friday off, so it worked out for me to go in that day. I worked on reading with some of the kids and helping them take AR tests. I like being in the school environment and seeing what's going on. I'm VERY nosy so I have my eyes & ears open the whole time I'm there, just observing the different teachers and kids. Of course, I have to admit that I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to teaching full time. I enjoy being there but I also enjoy leaving after awhile.

I am reminded often why I try to encourage & support Mrs. Stauffer because a teacher's job is a tough one. Anyone who thinks they have an "easy" job because "after all, they get out at 2:15 and have summers off" probably hasn't ever been a teacher or even spent much time in a classroom. Their job doesn't stop when the bell rings. Teachers are to be admired & respected. Of course, some are better than others. That is true of any teacher in any school...public, private or homeschool. In general though, teachers are to be admired.

Also, I think all of my "regular" readers probably already know this, but just in case......please work with your children at home and don't expect the teacher to do it all. I know some people tend to think that any parent who puts their child in a public school (or private for that matter) is just "outsourcing" their parenthood and putting off their responsibility as a parent onto someone else. Unfortunately, that is true for some parents. However, it is not true for many.

I just encourage every parent to spend time teaching your child at home. Go over what they're learning at school but add to it as well. Don't expect the teacher to do it all and then when your child doesn't learn to read or something blame it on the teacher. It just floors me sometimes to see the lack of parental involvement with some children & their education.

This can be applied to Biblical knowledge as well. It is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are learning about God & the Bible. True, it is great to be able to use resources such as Bible classes at church (or school if they go to a Christian school) to help our children learn about God but ultimately it is our responsiblity as parents to see that they are taught correctly. I'm not going to just send Gracie & Katie to Bible class twice a week and expect them to be taught everything about God without ever teaching them myself, so I'm not going to do the same thing with "regular" school.

Yes, we do send Gracie to public school, but it is our responsibility to make sure she's learning what she needs to as far as those academic subjects go. Yes, we use Mrs. Stauffer as a resource to help teach her those thing, but ultimately it is our responsibility to make sure she's learning everything she needs to know. If she gets to high school and can't get accepted to college because she doesn't know enough, that won't completely be the fault of the school. We should have known well before then that she wasn't getting what she needed. It is our job to make sure she's learning what she needs to know, add to it if needed, take away from it if needed and even make a change in how she receives her education if needed. It is our responsibility as parents!

If you're a homeschooler, then of course you have a very direct involvement with your child's education already. If you do send your child to school, be a support to that process. (If you don't support the process then why are you sending them to school in the first place???) Of course, this isn't to say that you can't try to change things if you think they need to be changed. Definitely we should be our child's advocate. If we feel that something being done~or not being done~needs to be changed, then it's our right & responsibility to respectfully try to change it. Thank your child's teacher, support your child's teacher, encourage your child's teacher. If you have a chance, offer to volunteer in your child's classroom. Offer to do projects for the teacher at home. Many times they need things done like tearing workbook pages out of workbooks, putting together spelling homework folders, cutting out things, making games. Things that might take you just an hour or two to do at home. Imagine how much they might appreciate that! Send in a treat to your child's teacher every now & then.....a loaf of bread you baked, a small candle, a Starbucks gift card. I remember how hard I worked as a teacher and a little "thank you" like that would have meant a lot! PRAY for your child's teacher. Pray with your child for their teacher.

Anyway, I didn't mean to get on my teacher soapbox. I'm not really sure where that came from, but I felt the need to write it!
We had a good weekend. As I mentioned, Friday afternoon I went to the school. Later that afternoon, I took some "stuff" over to a friend's house for a garage sale we were doing on Saturday. Then our family went to eat and shopped at a few stores. Just a casual Friday night together. One of my favorite kinds of nights!

Saturday, we were all up EARLY for the garage sale. We were at my friend's house by 6:45. Gracie stayed with me and played with her son while Katie had a "Daddy & Katie Boo day." He actually brought us back doughnuts & Starbucks before they went to get the oil changed, etc. I did okay on the garage sale. Any little bit helps these days. When we got home, I took a nap! Then we decided to spend some of the garage sale money and took the girls to the movies. It was fun!

Sunday was a good day at church although I was about ready to put Katie up for adoption afterwards. She was such a mess!!!!!!! "This too shall pass" right? right? right? We had another good class in 1st & 2nd grade. Our story was about Hagar and then about Sarah laughing when the angels told Abraham she would have a baby. We talked about how God asked if anything was too hard for Him...including helping her have a baby even when they were old. We also talked about how she lied about not laughing and God reprimanded her. I had them think about something that is hard for them to do and then talked about how nothing is too hard for God and He can help them with whatever is hard for them to do.

One little girl said she needed help with the monkey bars; one needed help playing football without falling down and one needed help not getting embarassed. It's so fun to listen to what they will come up with. We included these needs in our prayer journal.

Our Life Groups are over for the year and we will sign up for new ones in December. We all met together at the church building last night for church and had potluck afterwards. I LOVE potluck nights. I'm not sure why, but I just love eating together at church; it's fun.
Today I'm going to try to get the house cleaned up. I have a PTA Board meeting tonight for which I still need to type the minutes from the last meeting (last month!) I'm bad about putting that off! Tomorrow is a special day at school where the parents are invited to come participate in "hands-on activities." Mrs. Stauffer said they will rotate through 4 different classes doing different things. That should be fun!


Malia said...

Will the similarities ever cease??

My husband, a geologist, works for an environmental engineering firm and they have at least two GIS guys in their office. David is also very found of geography and he loves maps.

Let me guess, Chris is map freak??

Kristen said...

I get on that same soapbox about school, teachers, and learning, and I don't even have a kid in school yet!

Sounds like your week has been busy!

Btw, I LOVED the pictures of your girls from the previous post. Already anxious to see what great ones he does for your Christmas card this year!

jettybetty said...

I think you can do that soapbox better than me--and I didn't know that was possible!
Really--great points! Sending your child to public school is not easy--I applaud your efforts to be so involved and encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that the private school we send our daughter to informs the parents up front that they consider the school a tool for parents and in no way a replacement for biblical and academic nurturing that children need from their homes. Parental involvement at our school is vital...I don't think the school would be able to open its doors daily without the parents that do so much everyday.

I appreciate your presented your thoughts so well and so clearly.

TMK said...

Too cute! I remember when my dad did that at my school. She will always treasure that moment!

I would love for your friend to visit our church!! It is Northside Church of Christ. She can visit the website before to see if it is what she is looking for. Have a great day!