by Debbie Walker
Some of you know that I have been volunteering in a first grade class of a bunch of mini humans who have no front teeth and will chew unbelievable things. The latest one was chewing on their own shoelace!
I think we all knew babies go through a teething stage. But, did you know kids have a second teething stage? Yes they do; first graders or more specific 5, 6 and 7 year olds. It seems like they all lost their front teeth at the same time.
They each come tromping into the classroom in the morning and upon seeing their teacher and me they break into these big toothless smiles. You just can’t beat the feeling, theirs or ours. Who couldn’t go on with the day after that experience?
I had a couple of reasons for writing a column for teachers. One thing I want to bring to bring out is what teachers of the younger ones go through in a day. Like I said, I can only talk about the little ones.
If you have had or have a child you know they can’t be trusted very long on their own and 16 of them really can’t be left alone.
The teachers are with these children for 7.5 hours a day. There are no coffee breaks or shopping on an hour long lunch. There are not even any potty breaks for teachers. A couple days a week the kids may go off for a half hour to a computer lab, gym or music. Those times can be filled with preparing for the rest of the day or maybe even a teachers meeting.
There is no way I can show you the pace of the days. The job doesn’t stop when they go home. Most nights teachers can count on having some form of school work to do. Weekends and those “wonderful vacations! Too funny. Go to the school and see who is vacationing. Oh, and some of the teachers will take a vacation with some other “fill in” employment.
One thing I would like is for anyone who thinks the teachers have it so easy please spend some time in your child’s or grandchild’s.
Oh yeah, one other thing is Maine has a Foster Grandparent Program. “Foster Grandparents share their experience and wisdom for at least 15 hours a week in public and non-public settings; schools, day care and Head Start Centers with children who need a little extra love and attention.” There are some direct benefits; some compensation for time and effort.
Any compensation you might receive will not affect your Social Security, MaineCare or any other helpful benefits. And you can do so much good with the students and be such a help to the teacher. If you are interested contact Maria Staples at Penquis 207-973-3611 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe this is a great program.
I am running out of my allotted words so I will finish this one. I’m just curious what you think about teacher’s jobs. Contact me at email@example.com. Thanks for reading.