Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On Being a Dad and a Teacher - Part 2

As my children grew I became as involved as possible in their lives away from home. The preschool they both attended offered parents volunteer days where parents could remain at the preschool all day, engaging with their own child as well as the others. There was a roster so that no more than 2 parents at a time remained for the day. I volunteered on several occasions & revelled at the opportunity to build relationships with so many children. I think that is where my passion to work with children truly began. Anyway, the staff, parents & children were all very welcoming & positive. That is, they were to my knowledge until the Director informed me that a few parents had raised their concerns of a man being at the preschool while their child was there. She assured them that their children's welfare was not at risk and that it was advantageous for the children to engage in experiences that include positive male role models. I have not obtained permission to mention her here, but this Director has been an advocate for males working with young children for more than 2 decades.

As my children progressed to primary school I became a classroom volunteer, beginning with being involved in reading groups to remaining for half days. I was included in class activities, helped children with additional needs in the mainstream class & assisting the teacher in lesson preparations. I really enjoyed the experiences with the children and valued the experience I gained under a skilled educator.

This time was the lead up to & the beginning of my studies. I now believe that my time in the preschool & school contributed to making me a more effective teacher from the outset. I am grateful for their time & the opportunities they provided. Perfect examples of professionals influencing present & even future colleagues.

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