Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Week and GIVEAWAYS !!!

It's Saturday !!!! YAAAYYYYYYYY !!!

This week has been interesting.

My little Artful Dodger has, again, been on the deck, inspecting what we have out there . The last time, I was a little taken back to see that his Dad ??? was watching him. Hope we haven't got a Fagin situation developing here...

Had a really funny experience with Taylor and Lori, Taylor's Mum, on Thursday. I told her, Lori, that I was sooooooo going to blog about this one :-)

Every Thursday, I take Taylor to her Karate lesson after school. Then we go back to my place, where Lori picks her up after she's finished work, usually around 7:05 PM.

That's until last Thursday. About 7:15, I get this frantic call from Lori, telling me that she was on her way to pick up Taylor. I started to laugh and asked her, if she'd forgotten her. Apparently she had made it all the way home. Gone to the bathroom and glared at Taylor's clothes lying on the floor and muttered about her child's habits. Came back out into the kitchen and started talking to Taylor's Dad and then had a feeling that she'd forgotten something!!! :-)

I'm sure, that if we are all honest, we have all had experiences like this, especially after a stressful day. My daughter still reminds me of the time that I forgot her and her twin brother, after her netball practice and left them sitting outside the netball courts for about an hour !! So Lori, don't feel so bad. I've done worse ! :-)

The official pupil head count was held, at school on Thursday. As a result, we are now getting another Kindergarten teacher!!! About time too, as trying to teach a class of 30 + kids, many of whom have behaviour problems, do not speak or understand English or have limited knowledge and use of the language and are unable to write their own name or even use a pair of scissors correctly, is an almost impossible task at times, for the poor teachers.

On top of the volunteer work I do in the classroom, I've now been *suckered* into being the volunteer, Volunteer Coordinator. I'm actually quite excited about this, even though it's going to be extra work. I'll be working with the school's Parent Coordinator and she's pretty pumped up about the whole idea as well.

We're intending to put a volunteer training program in place as well as a recruiting drive. We also have plans to train parents in how best to help their kids with homework. What to work with them on, at home, so they can do well in the classroom. Simple things, like writing their name, using scissors the right way, holding a pencil, reading to them, etc. All these things can make a huge difference in teaching time in the classroom.

So I have some questions for you all ....

If you have volunteered at a school, what sort of things have you done? What would you have liked to have training in? Do you have any other suggestions comments?

If you are a teacher, how do you use volunteers in the classroom? What do you wish they were trained to do? What would you like to see in a program aimed at helping parents prepare and help their kids to succeed in the classroom? Any other suggestions or comments?

On to contests...

There are some exciting Giveaways taking place right now....

Those Saucy Ladies at SITS have a CONTEST going on right now for one of these ....

Click on the contest link to get the details. This is something that I could really, really use. Be very useful for school projects, etc !!! I have my fingers and toes very firmly crossed!!

Tiffany , has a Pay It Forward Contest on her personal blog, for one of these ...

Another awesome prize from a totally awesome lady !!! Click on the contest link to get the details, but you better hurry as the contest finishes today. I've been trying to find the time all week to do this post, but life has been a little hectic! I've actually been drooling over photo printers for awhile !

Phewwww ... that was a long post. If you made it to here, congratulation and I'll be back :-)


Kat said...

I am on the PTA at Madalyn's school. I love my job - because it doesn't involve me being in the class room - and I can do it at home. I take the sheets that people sign in on when they arrive at school - and I log the volunteer hours per class room. The teachers with the most volunteer hours in a month gets a $20 gift card to Target to be used in the class room.

When I was handed the job, I had to make some changes. I changed the sign in sheets - but I still need to convince people to print when they sign in - instead of giving me their John Hancock and I can't read it! I received no training at all as to what I was supposed to do. And guidance would have been really helpful!

Anonymous said...

Karen --

First, I find your observation about Artful Dodger and his dad a little chilling. Please -- keep your doors locked!

I've forgotten my kids too. If you didn't forget them at least once, what would they taunt you with as adults? :)

I have no suggestions, but just wanted to say how valuable I think the training you are planning will be! What a wonderful idea!

I guess I do have one idea, that may not be original. Grandparents are so much more likely to have extra time -- maybe they are an untapped resource?

Lori said...

Good on you for giving so much of your time to the school, and congratulations on getting another kindergarten teacher!

When I've volunteered at my kids' school, I've made copies, done bulletin boards, helped with fundraisers, etc. I've found that a lot of times people assume you know what to do. The most helpful things have been having someone walk me through what I'm doing, and to have someone say "thank you"!

angie said...

Wasn't Tiffany's giveaway fun? It was especially rewarding for me. :)

I volunteer whenever I can. My my daughter was in 1st grade I went into the classroom every other week and read with the kids.

When my other daughter was in Kindergarten, I couldn't get anyone to watch my other kids to get into the classroom regularly, so I was the room mom, and I helped to make autograph books for each child at the end of the year. I was happy to be able to do anything to help since I couldn't volunteer regularly.

With the new year ahead of us, I'm trying to figure out how to get into both classrooms at least every other week. I think it's so important, and I love being there.

Jennifer said...

I haven't fogotten to pick up my kids (knock on wood!) but I *almost* have! Hopefully I never will--bu I could totally see it happening--some days get so crazy!!

Chris H said...

I used to help out in the infants classroom, particularly with Asian children with little english language skills... just playing with them and helping them learn english... then I was asked to become a Teacher Aide, on the payroll... so I did that for almost 6 years until I stopped to care for Brylee then Griffin too. I used to look after one 'special needs' child at a time... the two I cared for in my 6 years as a Teacher Aide were very very high medical needs children... both were terminally ill. I thoroughly enjoyed the work. AS for my my neighbour's getting an eyeful of me naked...I dropped to the floor so fast and crawled back into the ensuite! I was so embarassed! They couldn't see me on the floor luckily!

Mrs4444 said...

Just today, I was wishing very much that I had someone to help out in my class during "Team Study," which is our study hall. I'm told that parent volunteers are not welcome to do this, because they'd be doing the jobs of aides, who are also union employees. I'm not sure if that's true, and I'm going to look into it, because I'm DESPERATE!

I'm sure you will make a terrific VC. Thanks for volunteering :)

Brenda Jean said...

I volunteer every Thursday at my daughter's school--going in this morning for the first time this year. New teacher and new year! She's in 3rd grade, and I volunteered all last year at school, on the field trips and holidays. I loved it. The kids were always so good for me, and I was shocked when the teacher told me that they act up for some of the other moms, but not me. She said some moms were pulling their hair out after an hour. I wonder why that was? As far as training-- I guess a tour around the school and introductions might have helped. Perhaps a special volunteer day/night before they start???