Experience reading to preschoolers: Nerves, butterflies, success
This is my first guest post on Kristin’s blog. Here goes.
Kristin mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that Brinley’s school was looking for volunteers from family members that would like to read a book to the class. She asked me if I’d be interested and I said ‘yes’ without hesitating. I think it’s super important to be involved with all school activities and this would be my first real thing. I picked a Thursday (today at 9:30am to be exact) and I checked the box on the form to indicate that I would bring a book from home versus having the school provide a book. I’m lucky to work for a kick a$$ company that values work/life balance so getting in late wouldn’t be an issue.
I started getting Brinley excited a couple of days ago by telling her that I would be reading to her class. I was nervous about how she would react when it was time for me to leave so I said things like, “after Daddy is done reading I’ll go to work and you’ll be cool and won’t cry right?” She settled my fear with a “yup”.
When I arrived at her school this morning I couldn’t believe how nervous I was. I had butterflies in my stomach and my heart started pounding out of my chest. I’m usually very comfortable with public speaking, but for some reason an audience of preschoolers was freaking me out. I wanted to make Brinley proud and have her classmates think I was cool. I realize this isn’t about me and that the kids probably could care less, but I hold myself to a ridiculous high standard in, well everything I do.
Brinley was so excited to see me. She took my hand and walked me to the library where all the kids sat on a carpet and circled around while I sat in a comfy reading chair. I chose to read the book “Winner’s Never Quit” by Mia Hamm, which is one of my favorites since it’s about soccer (which I love and played through my childhood) and it has a great message as the title suggests. The kids were great and they listened in closely to every word and I tried my best to read slowly and show them the pictures. Brinley had such a look of pride on her face that her Dad was in her school reading to her classmates a book that has only been shared between us at bed time.
When reading was over, the teacher said Brinley got to put a special sticker on a chart signifying that someone from her family came into read. Interesting system in that the kid who doesn’t have anyone come in to read feels like a real loser, but at least my kid will be proud! I bent down to kiss her goodbye while she walked into her class and she confidently and without a whimper said, “bye Dad”.
I drove to work with a feeling of great accomplishment and pride that I pulled it off and seeing Brinley in her school setting was a total pleasure. I look forward to being a part of her life in every way. I hope the kids thought I was cool.