A father is expressing his admiration for teachers after a class field trip to a pumpkin patch left him outnumbered and exhausted.
Clint Edwards, a father-of-three from Oregon, the author behind “No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog,” wasn’t originally supposed to chaperone his daughter’s kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch.
“I had the day off. My wife was supposed to go,” Edwards tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I took over at the last minute. I just kind of jumped in there.”
But clearly, Edwards didn’t understand what he was getting himself into. In a now-viral post on his Facebook page, Edwards shared how caring for a group of kindergarten students on Friday pushed him to the limit, and made him respect his daughter Aspen’s teacher even more than he already did.
“Listen: I love my daughter, but other people’s kids are a bit much,” Edwards wrote on Facebook. “This trip left me with an incredible respect for people who who work with young children all day. I only had five in my group, and they listened about as good as goldfishes. The whole time I was afraid I’d loose one in the corn field, they’d never be found, and ultimately end up as the premise for a Steven King novel.”
“Five-year-olds are crazy,” Edwards tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “When I said one was gonna run off into the cornfield, that was not an exaggeration. I was grabbing kids by the collar.”
The dad was in awe watching his daughter’s teacher successfully supervise the children as they changed their shoes — twice — to prevent tracking mud onto the bus. “…I’m pretty sure if she listed this act on her resume, she’d be as respected as any military general,” Edwards wrote. “I mean, wow! No child lost a shoe and she smiled the WHOLE TIME!”
He added, “I’ve said this before, but if my life ever depended on my own children finding their shoes, I’d be dead, so for her to pull off this shoe swap with 20 something 5/6 year olds places her on par with Batman. If you are a teacher reading this, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You are incredible. And if you know a teacher, give them a huge thank you.”
Edwards, who shares his own parenting experiences in the upcoming book, Silence is a Scary Sound: And Other Stories on Living Through the Terrible Twos and Threes, says he went home from the field trip and enjoyed cookies, Tylenol, and a long soak in the bathtub. “I haven’t had a drink in 16 years, and I was ready,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “And that was only after 3 or 4 hours!”
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What Edwards hopes people draw from his post is a strong respect for teachers, who care for dozens of students on a daily basis. And it’s clear from the Facebook comments, that teachers are held in high regard. “As a middle school teacher, I appreciate grade-school teachers (I couldn’t do it)!! Thank you for recognizing all that teachers do for our kiddos, and thank you for going on field trips with your kiddos!”
Another teacher wrote, “If you’ve ever had to help 18 four year olds put on and buckle a seat it’s a grueling experience in its self. I got a similar response from my parent chaperones.” Someone else commented, “As a preschool teacher, I truly appreciate this post! And I find the humor in it!”
“I think most parents have a real appreciation for teachers because that’s a tough job. And being there, firsthand, I couldn’t help but really respect Aspen’s teacher,” Edwards tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I say everybody, give your kindergarten teacher a high five. Bring her a gift at the end of the year. She deserves it. These people are saints. They deserve hazard pay.”