Confession: I’m a bit dramatic, a bit of a weirdo, and I totally LOVE that about myself! I am a 100% right brained, artsy person to my core. Growing up, I was involved in dance, choir, art, and theater. Many of hours were spent in front of the mirror practicing crazy facial expressions and character voices (Jim Carey did too… we’re practically besties). From time to time, I still act in community theater and have been in some small independent films and commercials. I’m basically a B List celeb. Calm down, paparazzi!
Naturally, I find reading to my kids quite enjoyable. I go ALL out with the voices! British, country, southern charm, scary monster, valley girl, you name it! Cullen loves these voices (most of the time), and Grayson stares at me in pure amazement (or bewilderment… but it’s whatevs).
Becoming a Mother Reader in my children’s classroom has been something I’ve dreamed about since the day my oldest was born. I have envisioned a classroom full of darling children watching and cheering on the best mother reader there has ever been in the history of the universe.
With my son starting Kindergarten this year, that dream became a reality! It was so much fun, and I cannot wait to do it again and again!
Here are some tips for being a successful Parent Reader:
1. Say Yes. Your child will love having you be the star of their classroom. It will mean the world that you took time out of your busy day to do something special for them, and you are building life-long memories.
2. Show up on time. Minutes matter to teachers. Everything is on a schedule. If you show up 10 minutes late, you may only get 5 minutes to read before kids line up to go to lunch, PE, Music, Art, or Library. Don’t put that stress on the teacher. Plus, chances are, your precious kiddo is excited to have you read to their class. Don’t disappoint them by not getting the full amount of parent reader time.
3. Bring your kids teacher a treat! As a former teacher, I understand that teachers are grossly under appreciated. They do so much for our kiddos and their pay is not equally reflected. Many times the frustrations of parents are also the frustrations of the teacher, so give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes things are out their hands. Also, you know those posh events and dinners that you attend for your job, or your husbands job? Teachers don’t get those. So, it’s our responsibility as the phenomenal parents that we are, to show our teachers that they are appreciated! It doesn’t have to be something big. I brought Cullen’s teacher a yummy Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks. See her facebook post below. She loved it!
Here are some teacher treat ideas: Cute pens/pencils tied with a bow, their favorite candy or drink, fun magnets, colorful expo markers, a pack of ticonderoga pencils (trust me!)
Things that teachers typically have WAY too much of: notepads, creams, and mugs.
4. Choose Age Appropriate Books: If you bring a book from home, make sure it is age and content appropriate for the grade level. If it seems questionable, just don’t. Or if it’s a family fave, ask the teacher what she/he thinks ahead of time. If this isn’t your strong suit, email the teacher for suggestions or see if they will have one available for you.
5. Captivate Your Audience: Read your book ahead of time if possible. Practice being a fluid reader as to not have lulls in the story. Remember, you are keeping the attention of minions. Give the characters voices if you can. Don’t be afraid. They will LOVE it. Don’t worry about having “correct accents” or crazy voices. Even subtle difference bring new life to a story.
As you read, if there is a lesson learned or an important point made, briefly pause and reiterate it. Ex: “Did you guys hear that?! She said sorry!” After 2 seconds of oooo’s and aaaahh’s, quickly start reading again. Don’t leave time for them to loose interest or get rowdy. This may sound like a silly suggestion, but pausing too long can really cause disruption or loss of attention!
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to get into it! This is your time to shine for your kiddo. Don’t worry, they will be proud of you even if it is a disaster. However, it’s so fun to have their classmates excited to have you back again.
6. Wear Astros Apparel: Okay, okay, not really…. but I’m a Houstonian and we just won the 2017 WORLD SERIES for the first time in franchise history!!! Obviously, I had to throw in some type of Astros comment.
Congratulations! You are now fully ready to be a successful parent reader! Go and spread the love of reading!