Friday, February 19, 2010

Tales From Kindergarten Lunch Duty

Thursday was my first day back at work. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome group of women to work with. They welcomed me back with open arms and made my first couple of days back fabulous. Well, I mean it was almost fabulous.

Today I had lunch duty. If you have never eaten lunch with 120 five and six year olds you are truly missing out. I will be honest. I kind of forgot just how much fun lunch duty could be (you know like going to the dentist and having all your teeth pulled fun). Let me paint you a little picture....

120 kids in a cafeteria, with cement bricks, and a tile floor. They all have food. Various kinds of foods that all smell differently. They have 30 minutes to eat said food. It takes them about five minutes to eat the dessert. The rest of the food becomes a toy-what else are they going to do with the extra 25 minutes? I mean come on mom you didn't actually think I ate that sandwich you packed or the cafeteria sloppy joe you paid for, did you?

There are three teachers on lunch duty. Their job is to go around and open milks, get napkins, and keep watch over the 120 children that are all talking at the same time. This is where the real fun begins. "Teacher will you open my yogurt"? That's when you reach down and feel slime (a.k.a slobber) rolling down the package. "Sure darling next time can you remember to not put it in your mouth first". They nod their cute little head just so that you can discover next week you are having the same conversation with the same child.

Oh and then there is my favorite..the hand raise of the child that just wants to tell you a story. Now granted two tables over a little boy just put pudding in a little girl's hair. But no that is not near as important as this sweet little angel that has been waving their hand at you like their chair is on fire. You discover that they just wanted to share with you their birthday party plans; even though their birthday is not until next November. Yes we hear all shorts of stories. Most are very interesting. Today's top two were the penis story, and the ball story (we will save those stories for another time).

Needless to say you have just not experiences life until you have experienced Kindergarten lunch duty. It is only 30 minutes. 30 minutes of running around in circles. 30 minutes of not being able to hear yourself think. 30 minutes of food that has been mixed and squashed until you can't tell what it is anymore.

30 minutes where you learn more about a child then you learn during an entire day in the classroom. 30 minutes to bond with children that sometimes just need someone to listen to them. 30 minutes to spend with children as a friend not just a teacher.30 minutes where a child feels like they can just be themselves.

Those 30 minutes are wonderful and precious in many ways.

Now don't get me wrong, at the end of those thirty minutes you leave the cafeteria with half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich stuck to your shoe. Something brown and green streaked across the back of your pants. And what appears to be part of a fruit roll up stuck in your hair.

But those 30 minutes are really part of the whole experience that makes me love me job. If you haven't experienced Kindergarten lunch duty you should. If you took just one day every other week to go have lunch with your child or to volunteer to have lunch with a child you too we see the glories of Kindergarten lunch duty.

P.S. I have lunch duty for the next two Fridays if you interested I will gladly step aside and let you have at it-HA! Just kidding-no really if your available???? It's only 30 minutes how bad can it be, right? You know you want to!

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