Especially when I make a kid cry during my volunteer time in my son’s class. Yep. That’s grade-A educating, there.
Tuesday I spent time in Aaron’s class. I got to supervise one of the work group tables. The kids had to cut out a leaf, glue it to this paper, then give three words that describe the leaf. The had to attempt to spell the words, and I would go behind them and write what they were spelling underneath the word. How could I mess it up?
It was almost time to switch groups, and I told the child in front of me that he needed to hurry up and put the last word down because we were about to change groups. He gave me a confused, worried look. I repeated, “just write down you last word. What’s the leaf look like?” Mind you, I wasn’t being mean, but I was pushing him a little. Well, his eyes started to water, and he did that breathing thing kids down when they want to stop the tears before they start. I immediately noticed, and as if in slow motion, I said, “noooooooo,” followed by a few small “oh no. No. No-no.” Too late. The child started bawling. I felt HORRIBLE. I think I teared up, too. I called the teacher over, and she said, “it’s okay. This has happened before,” and she whisked him away to the tissues.
This ruined the rest of my Tuesday. I felt like a crappy person the rest of the day. I was so sad! I could almost feel his worry and embarrassment as he tried to hold those tears back! Aw, I feel terrible just thinking about it.
So, today I’m heading back to the class. I’m the “mystery reader” today. Not only do I have residual guilt from my last classroom visit, but I’m going to have to sit in front of the entire class and read a book. I’m nervous. My husband laughed at me and said I could read on a 1st grade level and they would still be impressed–they’re only kindergartners! True, but what if I mess up?
Next week I’m back in the work group chair, helping (if you could call it that) the kids. What am I going to change to make things better? I’m going not going to rush anyone. I’ll remove all sense of urgency from my voice. (Yeah. I don’t have an f-ing clue.)