As a former elementary school teacher, I have years of classroom teaching experience. Years. And NONE of it was helping me.
One of the things I often talk about is the fact that the strategies we have used throughout our lives as smart, capable people (like multi-tasking) just don't serve us in the same way when we become parents. Being able to make quick judgements, to be organized and mostly in control have NOT helped me be a better parent. Not even my formerly enviable ability to analyze and strategize has been useful.
And let me tell you, none of this was helping me on Thursday when I was responsible for 4 kindergarteners as they explored the gardens looking for bugs.
What was helpful? Trust. Lots and lots of trust. (Except of course when they started to wade into the pond.) Trusting that all the adults were looking out for all the kids. Trusting that the kids knew what they needed to do. (For the most part, they did.) And trusting that I didn't need to be the super mom. (Although I'm pretty sure that at the beginning of the day that was some unacknowledged thought that went through my mind.)
So along with trust, I think another thing that I had to relearn was to let be. (This is a variation on let go.) For me this means letting go of my assumptions of how things are going to go. Of how kids are or are not going to relate to me. And sadly, letting go of the fantasy that I've got any magic at all when it comes to kids. I get frustrated. I want things to go differently than how they are going. I want things to be different.
However, I also have a (somewhat) regular sitting practice. This practice helps me notice when I am getting caught in my expectations of how things should be. Because I have learned, over many years, to be mindful of when my reality is not matching up to what I think should be happening ("should" should, imho, be a swear word). Mindfulness helps me notice when I'm paying more attention to the story in my head than to the reality unfolding in front of me. It doesn't mean that I don't have moments of wishing I was better, smarter, more perfect, but it DOES mean that I don't usually get caught up in these thoughts for too long.
I have to say that the field work was a huge success. The kids learned more about bees and got to see Tom the Beekeeper working with his hive. Only one kid (not one of mine) got their feet wet in the pond and everyone seemed to have a good time. I think my daughter's teacher is incredible. And I'm so glad for the reminder to let things be as they are.