The world is your oyster!: Kevin James in the Classroom        

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kevin James in the Classroom

This Friday is Dads and Donuts in my class. At first I was really excited....what's not to love about free donuts and 30 minutes of my day already planned for me?

But then I realized that actually, there is something not to love about it. And I'm not referring to the donuts.....I'm referring to the dads.

See, here's the thing: school is kind of a mom's domain. Moms like to come in and volunteer and eat lunch with their kiddos and then leave and get on with their grocery shopping / book club / yoga class / whatever else they have planned for the day. I hand them a stapler and some papers, they gesture to a wall, I smile, and our conversation is over. I am confident that I will have a perfect bulletin board by the time they leave.

Dads, on the other hand, tend to feel kind of uncomfortable in an elementary school. Oh sure, there's the occasional dad who comes on field trips, the quintessential "cool dad" who struts in with his hat flipped backwards and his hand all ready to high-five anyone close to him, but these dads are not the norm.

The dad who is the norm looks more like....Kevin James. Picture Kevin James.

That should help.

Now picture him walking timidly up to the door of a classroom. He peeks his head through the window. He looks around anxiously until he spots his child. Feeling a little relieved that this is the right classroom, he slowly opens the door, as if opening the lion cage at the zoo, and takes one baby step in. He leaves the door propped open with his foot, makes eye contact with the teacher and murmurs, "Am I....." The teacher quickly nods and gestures him in. "Should you want me to....." he continues. Suddenly there are 24 heads swiveling around to stare at him. You can imagine what that does to poor Kevin.

The interesting thing is, that in the end, the same work gets done, and it looks just as good as when the moms do it. It's just that I sometimes feel nervous that the dads are this close to getting up and running away.

Regardless, this Friday is a day when all the dads of my students are being invited into my classroom. They will sit in the 2nd-grade chairs with their knees up to the ears. They will eat donuts with sprinkles on them and glance around, wondering how they can possibly act in a way that will allow them to maintain some semblance of manliness while seated in such a position.

I was pretty excited about this, since I kind of love awkwardness. But then we got all lined up to go home today and I had this conversation with one of my students:

J: Miss Connor, my uncle wants to go on a date with you.
Me: ......Uh, what?
J: Yeah! My uncle!
Me: Hmmmm. Who?
J: My uncle [I forget his name] wants to go out on a date with you.
Me: [Nervous laughter....what is the protocol for this?? I don't want to go on a date with your uncle....] Oh....
J: So he might come to Dads and Donuts on Friday.

If their dad can't come, the students are allowed to bring a substitute. I guess it's my fault, because I did suggest that they invite their grandpa or uncle. But um, still.

I'm just a little bit nervous for this Friday now.

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