I had the pleasure of helping out in a 3rd grade classroom today as they had a “Welcome to Spring Break” party.
Let me explain something, I am not good with kids. Usually, I do not even know how to deal with them, they kinda intimidate me, unless they are my own kids. Over the course of this school year, I have been honored to know these very special 3rd graders. What I have learned…….3rd graders totally rock. I adore them. They have a special place in my heart.
Now, let’s go back about two weeks. I am volunteering in the classroom and two little girls come up to me. They had a serious look on their face, much like the one my own kids have when they want something.
“Mrs. Pedro, we have a question to ask you but it is private, can we go out to the hallway to talk?”
I quickly glance around to get the silent “okay” from the teacher. He was occupied with another student.
“Well, if your teachers says it is okay, then yes, we can go talk in the hallway.”
The two little girls immediately went up to the teacher and asked “Can we take Mrs. Pedro in the hall to talk?”
I was now face to face with two third graders, in the hall. Will I be able to do this? What do they need to tell me? Oh-my-god I need backup!
“Mrs Pedro, we were wondering if we could have an Easter Egg hunt in the classroom and we would need you to buy plastic eggs.”
Oh I totally have this!
“That is an amazing idea! I love it! Yes, of course we can, as long as you teacher agrees to it.”
Unbeknownst to him, the teacher agreed to it.
Every day for the next two weeks these little girls would come up to me, bright-eyed, excited,clearly they had a plan in motion.
“Mrs. Pedro, we were just checking on if you bought the eggs yet for the Eater Egg hunt, we really want to make this happen.”
They were on a mission! “Operation Easter Egg Hunt” was now in effect.
Much thought went into this plan. It had to be just right. You never want to disappoint 3rd graders, especially when plastic eggs filled with candy are involved.
Today was the much awaited day for the Easter Egg Hunt, except the teacher kinda put his own twist on it while making it a teachable moment as well.
It was an adorable “Welcome to Spring Break” party filled with eggs, cakes, candy, and cookies. Every parents dream!
And then……enter the popsicles.
The teacher had just enough popsicles for each student to have one. I happily agreed to hand out the popsicles. Do you know what happens when you have one adult with 24 popsicles in your hand? You are immediately surrounded by 24 anxious 3rd graders who all want the same color.
So I did what any normal person would do. I held the bag open and told said 3rd graders “Okay, here ya go, go for it!”
They were awesome! I mean yeah they were excited, but absolutely no injuries at all in having a free for all with the popsicle.
I could not help but notice one little boy, an adorable Samoan kid, who is in third grade but looks to be in 5th, grabbed more than one popsicle.
“Don’t worry Mrs Pedro, I will help you out.”
Okay, so that’s good right? He is my helper! I love him….and I trusted that he would disperse the popsicles as needed.
Shortly after, all the popsicles were gone. There were no tears, and each 3rd grader looked happy. That was a success……untill……..a little boy came up to me, hesitant. “Mrs. Pedro, I did not get a popsicle.”
Okay, I can fix this, I will just go ask my little Samoan helper if he can fix this.
“Hey, “J” come here I have to tell you something. See that kid over there, the one in the white shirt, he did not get a popsicle.”
Long pause from “J”
“Okay, don’t worry Mrs. Pedro, I can fix this.”
I stand back and watch from a safe distance. “J” goes up to the little boy in the white shirt.
“Hey, I hear you did not get a popsicle?”
“No, I did not get a popsicle.”
“Don’t worry, I got you.”
“J” then opens up his jacket, pulls out a popsicle and gives it to the little boy in the white t-shirt. I say a silent “thank you” prayer to God, because I really have no idea how I would explain this to the teacher that one of his kids did not get a popsicle….when really, all I had was one job.
“J” makes his way back to me.
“I fixed it Mrs. Pedro, it’s all good.”
I freakin love this kid.
“Thank you “J” for having my back!”
It was then time for the class to pack up and get ready to leave. The teacher had made these pretty cool journals for the kids to work on during Spring Break. The front cover consisted of their name, with an adjective in front of it. For example……”Amazing Aimee” “Smart Samantha.” You get the point. Then,the teacher wrote to each kid what he appreciates about them. “I appreciate your willingness to learn.” “I appreciate your honesty” “I appreciate you always wanting to help others.” Pretty cool, right?
In the journal, the teacher wrote down what he had planned to do each day on Spring Break. On the same page, the kids were instructed to write what they did on their Spring Break.
Now, imagine my surprise when I was handed my very own journal. I was probably a little too excited about that.
Some people may look at me, and the volunteer work I put in at the school and say “You should just get a real job.” “Why don’t you bring a paycheck home?”
And to those people I will say, there is no amount of money that can make me feel the way I do, when I see day-to-day a difference being made not only in the kids, but in myself.
And for that, I am so very thankful.