I often feel crazy but I’ve started volunteering in my daughter’s old reception class once a week (or when I can if my Mum can watch little Piglet!) I went in to do a healthy eating talk and really enjoyed it, so thought it would be lovely to come in after the grem had moved on.
I’m on my 4th week and already have learnt so much about what my girlie was getting up to last year! I don’t ever think you ever really know until you fully submerge yourself and get involved.
I’ve been shocked (not badly), smiled a lot, been hugged, grabbed, coughed on, talked at and laughed a lot. They say THE funniest, cutest thing. I already learnt from my previous talk NEVER ask reception kids if they have anything to say or you will live to regret it and laugh a lot!
This is what reception is REALLY like from a volunteers eyes! (well at my daughter’s school!)
– They are not officially taught. They don’t sit at tables and work. This is because they have the attention spans of goldfish. The teacher could barely get through a full story book, with discussion! I have never seen so much fidgeting on the carpet in my life!!!
– They do learn sneakily! Everything is done through games and discussion. The teacher recently used the old book Funnybones and from the moved onto talking about size, growing and even a bit of healthy eating.
– They do just mainly play all the time. Of course we are only in October and they are finding their feet but I’ve done no reading or anything like that yet. It’s all choice, crafts, games and having fun with each other.
– The mess is legendary! I did some paper crafts with them recently and the amount of stuff on the floor was insane! It’s a slow process getting them to learn to tidy up (and trust me this doesn’t spill over to home!!)
– They do need telling off now and then. There is definitely no pussy footing around, which I like, as they need telling off if not being safe or are not following the rules (it does happen a lot!!)
– Some kids do still have toileting accidents and need cleaning up. I was initially surprised at this but yes it happens.
– There’s a lot of singing, dancing and interaction, using the white board. There’s also a lot of YouTube and website usage, so all very on it with the technology!
– Kids vary so much!! They are all shapes and sizes. Some are so chatty and never put their hands up, where others never say a word. Some you can see are bright and are writing their name and colouring well, others its scribble. I made me realise kids are all different and it really doesn’t matter.
– To be a reception teacher you need the patience of a saint and eyes in the back of your head. You also need to think of lots of ideas to keep the kids engaged or you lose them…FAST!
– They do get outside and get plenty of fresh air, which I think is fab. It tires them out and gets them away from making mess in the classroom.
I’ve really been enjoying my time in reception, so far. I know I’ll only be able to keep going for 3ish more months until I’m ready to pop but hoping to make the most of it and learn a lot.
I tell you what though…I’m not sure I could do it everyday!