Yes, doing anything social in public prompts me to have to write about my experiences, but not actual experiences. I always imagine the funniest-case-scenarios when I’m in any situation and it’s really hard for me to keep from bursting out laughing at terribly inappropriate times.
The cool thing about volunteering in a kindergarten classroom is that you’re hanging out with 5 and 6 year olds, and they are funny by nature. And exhausting. Boy howdy, those little dorks never stop. I’ve never been in a young kid classroom where the teacher didn’t seem half mentally checked out for life. And for good reason- after an hour of playing a reading game with 20 wee spazbutts, I was ready to go hit myself on the head with a brick and call it a day.
Instead I made a list of the best tips for getting the most out of the volunteer sessions.
1. Schedule a time with your child’s teacher weeks in advance. The night before you are to go in, send an email to the teacher, in all caps, announcing that you won’t be able to make it the next day because you forgot you were getting your teeth whitened. Send 3 more emails within the span of 5 minutes asking if she got your first email. Make sure they are all in different fonts and colors.
2. Show up the next day at volunteer time, and act like you didn’t send any emails. Here’s the best part: right before you walk into the classroom, chew on a lot of blueberries or drink a purple smoothie. They stain your teeth a wonderful grey color for a while, so flash that smile at the teacher every chance you get.
3. Stuff your fanny pack with Blow Pops before you go and shove an unwrapped lolli into a different kid’s mouth every time the teacher isn’t looking.
4. Teachers have really hard jobs and love when you take the reigns for a while. Lead the kids in an impromptu game of tag all over the classroom and make it educational by screaming out George Washington’s name from time to time.
5. Bring in your own name tags for the kids that are pre-populated with thug names. Here are some to get you started: Knuckles, Two-faced Eddie, The Brain, Lucky Joey, Crazy Lou, Danger Doll.
6. Dressing like total tramp is always a sure bet to get the little girls in the class to think you’re a princess, so this is a no brainer.
7. Most likely, the teacher will QUICKLY explain to you what you are supposed to be doing for the next hour, not bothering to remember that parents need to smoke a giant spliff before they volunteer in a classroom and your brain is working at a third of the capacity. No matter. Cast the activity aside and instruct the kids how to perfect the double air kiss.
8. What child doesn’t enjoy potty humor? Hold a little competition to see who can perform the best arm fart. If you wish, you can judge on different criteria: loudness, rumbliness, pitch change, etc.
9. If there is time, you can pretend to start to set up the activity you should have been doing, but our captive audience will LOVE IT if you break out your slapstick skills. Throw everything up in the air in mock clumsiness! Trip all over it, sending items flying around the room! Wave your arms around dramatically as you fall in slow motion to the floor. You have won the hearts of your child’s class.
10. Finally, when it’s time to depart, double air kiss each child and deposit a bagged goldfish in each of their precious, grubby, germ-filled hands, perform a perfect twirl, bow deeply, sing a short German ditty, toss a smoke bomb, and disappear into the afternoon.