I helped in Ben's classroom yesterday. I was so glad to get a chance to come in, because I know it means so much to Ben. First grade is quite different from the first grade I remember! It is quite academic, and those kids were working hard from the morning until I left at lunchtime. She had such control of the classroom, and those kids were amazing at staying on task. She is a very business-like teacher, but would always give an encouraging word to each and every child.
I corrected and filed papers, as well as cut out some crowns from construction paper. I just sort of tuned my ears to what was going on in the class while I performed the busy work. I got a kick out of calendar time, when the teacher got out a puppet and used a funny voice.
At lunchtime, I took a chair to sit next to Ben. I swear, I had three children talking to me at once the entire time. They wanted to tell me all sorts of things - it was hilarious! I heard about how tall their parents are, about their brothers and sisters, how many presents are under their tree, that their hot lunch looked like poop (it really did!!), about a girl's braces (yes, braces in first grade), etc, etc! The more I would validate them, the more they wanted to tell me things. SO FUNNY! And then, at the end, they kept saying "Good-bye, Mrs. _____!"
That was fun.