Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take Your Child to Work Day

So, the official day was Thursday April 28th, but I was permitted to bring my older child to work yesterday.  Why? Because I work in a child-centered, family-friendly environment with people who have and/or love kids.  Because, in the interest of helping further her education, one of my colleagues wanted to run the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) on her, to aide us in selecting early reader books.  (Because on Thursdays I teach at a different (scary-different) school. Because I do as I'm told, try to be pleasant, and never say no to a song-for-this-event request. Because my most immediate boss is a mommy, and she gets it.)
That's why.

So we parked in the teacher's lot, we hit the office to get my mail, and away we went:
 First up was a quick morning recorder lesson during homeroom with a First grader who is getting some Music enrichment. This admittedly princess-like child will forever be etched in Miss M's blonde head as "the girl who looks like Tianna", and we do have a thing for the princesses still. We saw her later, and will probably talk about her for weeks.
Then a 2nd grade class came in.  I was so busy hauling out bass xylophones I forgot tell Miss M what to do.  She silently sat with the kids on the flip form risers...these things:
*Damn it, lost part of my post in editing. Never edit the next day.  Recap below.*
We began our class the usual way. The solfeg scale, warm-ups, and attendance (I make 'em match pitch every day with attendance-taking.  Because I'm sneaky. Wa ha ha.) and our song for the day was Teresa Jennings's "Spring, Spring, Spring". Yes, it's a pun, great horn parts, and the kids love mimicing playing them.  By this time I had forgotten that I'd brought my daughter to school that day.  There were eighteen 2nd graders and one Miss M in here, and if not for the height difference I would have had to hunt for her like Waldo. 
The main part of their lesson was a quasi-Orff thing (singing, xylophones, movement, repeat. Basically) and she did what they did, for the most part.  The only tantrum threat was the end of class:  I asked them to line up.  My daugther lined up in the middle of them, and they all walked out.  Oops.
I had to run and explain to her that she coudn't go to their classroom with them, because I had a bunch more classes to teach, and they were going to go to Math class.  The tears started welling up...but just then my 5th grade teacher friend Robin came by with a box of Dunkin Donuts munchkins.  That took care of that nicely.  Thanks, girl!
The rest of my morning classes went the same way, and late in the morning my 1st grade teacher friend came to take her for the DRA thing.  Miss M went off with her nicely, but I had my doubts that she'd actually focus long enough in a beautifully furnished 1st grade classroom to take the DRA. 
Debbie brought her back with a little paperwork and the question,
"Does she ever stop?"
No, she doesn't.
Until you want her to go.  Then, watch those heels dig in.
Turns out Debbie could get her to show comprehension skills up to a 10, though her actual reading level was a little higher.  10 is about mid-1st grade level, as she explained it to me.  I was grateful to have this information, and the added bonus of having another education professional confirm that my darling daughter has the attention span of a happy gnat. 
But whatever.  She's 4.

Then it was time for lunch.  Miss M of course wanted to eat in the cafeteria.  She parked her PB&J right next to my little recorder buddy from homeroom, and munched away.  That's fine. I adore this student.
I wonder what this girl would charge to mentor my daughter.

Then we headed to the gym for a co-taught 5th grade thing with my P. E. teacher buddy.  We were having them compose a dance in groups, then challenging them to try out the new, giant mass-Twister mat. 
It sort of worked.

Good stuff, paint-stained socks.

Now then: my Fifth grade at the end of the day Monday is a challenging group. (They could frustrate you to tears if you weren't thick-skinned, let's put it that way.) Half are too cool for school, the other half haven't shut up since the day they started school.  Bad combo.  Yeah, yesterday? They were insanely well-behaved.  They begged my daughter to sit with them, then proceeded to participate gorgeously.  I had a kid who has not sung on pitch for me in literally years belt out a perfect pattern during attendance like he had been doing it every week since First grade. Honestly, I had thought he was tone deaf.  Turns out he was just waiting to impress my 4 year old kid.
SPEAKING of how old Miss M is...yeah, it's starting already. *sigh* The wrong boys.
Their teacher brought these 5th graders in and we both gasped at who Miss M sought out and plopped down next to.  Hmmm...which young man would my daughter want to chit-chat with?
Who catches her attention?
THAT boy. The bad boy.
5th teacher: "Of all the - is she sitting with - ?"
Me: "Wow..she can pick 'em already."
5th teacher: "Lock her up, Meg."
Greeeaaaaat.  She stayed at his side through all of our usual opening stuff, getting books, singing the song from Ghana, and I separated them when I counted out everybody as either a "1" or a "2".
Oh, goodie.  ;-)
But they all adored her:

All in all, she had a great day, impressed the Hell out of me, and got to play on the new playground.

We seem to have more friends with slightly older children, and I must compare her to these older kids a lot. In fact, just this weekend I was frustrated to find that she wouldn't cooperate with a party game that the older girls were having a ball playing.
I have to remind myself that 1) my expertise is only with big kids and 2) she's a little kid still.
But WOW, did she make a good elementary student for one day.

And she set up a killer drum set before she left. 

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails