I love reading to my kids’ classes. The enthusiasm on their faces as they experience a new story is priceless. I recently read a few books to my son’s preschool class. However, my gender proved to be a bit of a distraction.
When I approached the school, I noticed that the door was locked. I waited a few seconds until I noticed the school’s director walking by. She approached the door and glared at me. It felt like an eternity had passed before she opened the door.
“How may I help you?” She asked. She crossed her arms, blocked the entrance, and stared at me like a momma bear defending her cubs.
“I’m here to read to my son’s class,” I said holding up the stack of books.
“Thank you for coming,” she said. Her demeanor softened and a smile brightened her face. “We’re happy to have a dad read to the kids.” She escorted me to my son’s class and told me to have a seat.
“The children are in enrichment,” she said. “But I’ll let the teacher know you’re here.”
I sat down and looked around the classroom. I noticed some of my son’s artwork on the wall and went to admire it. A few minutes later, I heard the teacher enter the classroom.
“Hello, sir,” she said. “May I help you?” Apparently the director was unable to tell the teacher I was there.
“Hi, I’m X’s dad,” I said extending my hand. “I’m here to read to the kids.”
“Wow!” she said. “We’ve never had a dad read to the class.”
“Never?” I asked.
“Not that I can recall and I’ve worked here for several years,” she said. We chatted for a few more minutes until the kids returned from enrichment.
“Look who’s here,” the teacher said to my son. He grinned, gave me a hug, and took his special seat next to me.
As I prepared to read the books, I noticed the teacher’s gathering other teachers in the hallway.
“Look,” she said pointing into the classroom. “A dad is reading to the class.” I felt like a zoo attraction as the teachers craned their necks to get a peek at “Mocha Dadis Readis.”
When the commotion waned, I entertained the kids with my book selections—Hippos Go Berserk, The Adventures of Max & Pinky: The Mystery, and My Brother Charlie. We were having so much fun that the teacher asked us to tone it down a bit.
After I finished the last book, the kids gave me a round of applause and thanked me for coming. I gathered my things, gave my son another hug, and walked towards the door.
The teacher stopped me and said, “I really appreciate your reading to the class. I wish more dads would volunteer to read.”
“Maybe I’ve started a trend,” I said.
“I certainly hope so,” she said with a smile.
Originally appeared on MochaDad.com; Image courtesy of the author