A few years ago when I did Science as a stand-alone subject and not part of learning centre time, I invited Professor Petri to come in and do a science lesson. Professor Petri looked a lot like me, but with goggles and a lab coat. Funnily enough, whenever Professor Petri appeared, Mrs. Moyer vanished! It was uncanny and just a tad unnerving. The students claimed we looked a lot alike, but that only made sense since we are cousins and she tends to copy my excellent taste in fashion (that was nice at first, but has worn on me as the years have passed – make your own clothing choices, Professor Petri -sheesh!). The students pointed out some other similarities and I have to admit, Professor does talk with her hands and says, “I know, right?!”, but don’t forget that we’re cousins and she’s a big copycat.
After her engaging and stimulating science lesson Professor Petri would have to dash off to her other job at Tim Hortons (she was always running late, something I’m thankful we don’t have in common). I’d return to class (thanks for leaving them unattended P.P.) and the kids would be so excited about the materials she left for them to explore that it made all the copycat stuff more palatable.
So, yeah, I’m pretty good at duping small children.
Confess is the topic for #Kinderchat’s Summer Blogging Challenge. I teach kindergarten, I blog, it’s summer, I’m in! You wouldn’t think there would be many confessions related to teaching kindergarten. I thought so, too, for about 30 seconds.
Here’s my confession: I’m a big fat liar.
Although I do have some great classroom management strategies up my sleeve, sometimes I impulsively go in another direction – but don’t judge me too harshly, I never claimed to be perfect. Below are the ones I am willing to share, feel free to adopt for your own bag of tricks.
1. “When I was in Big Teacher School they taught us to tell the difference between real coughs and fake ones. You are faking. Stop it.”
2. “If you run on your way to the library, I will know out about it. I always know.”
3. “I can see everything.” (a slight twist on the “eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head” fib parents use).
4. “If you lie, your right ear turns blue, but only teachers can see it.”
What confessions would you care to share? Babysitting stories are sometimes the best source – share, share away!
Back in the Dark Ages, before WiFi and SmartBoards, when Bill Nye the Science Guy was still cutting-edge, I began teaching. My first assignment was kindergarten and I liked it and thought I’d try it out for a while since “I’m no kindie lifer.” Fifteen years later, I’m still in Kindieland, but it’s not because it has gotten easier, it’s because I continue to learn. Every day. Teaching Kindergarten has clarified my gross threshold. I can calmly bandage a scraped knee. I can witness a child throw up and clean up vomit without batting an eye. Nose bleed? No problem. I am a
star when it comes to yanking out loose teeth. But on any given day, I am one booger away from tossing my lunch. Even writing it down makes me – hold on a second….ok, I’m fine now. I have learned that simple things are really complicated. Don’t believe me? Pop into a kindergarten hall at Home Time (okay, really, any time). Among the most challenging of tasks are the following:
Putting on boots/sandals/running shoes
Putting on a coat/jacket
Zipping a coat
Unzipping and removing a coat because someone thought the teacher wouldn’t notice they hadn’t put on their snow pants (this applies only in winter, we’re not cruel)
Zipping up a backpack (easier if mittens aren’t already on, but that strategy is met with great resistance)
Staying in line as the class travels outside
Keeping one’s hands on one’s own body
Not stroking the walls as we walk in the hall
Refraining from applying excessive amounts of sunblock to self and others
Kindergarten has taught me to be a Jenga Master. Can’t fit your sandwich container back into the bag? A little twist, a flip – BAM! There you go. Backpack too full to cram in your library book? Just a little nudge to the right, a few shakes – all set!
Over the years, I have garnered many useful phrases:
What are you learning when you squish him with a pillow?
We don’t lick our friends.
Only snack goes in your mouth.
I’m wondering what you’re learning when you put blocks down your shirt?
Sticking your tongue out has no power over me.
You don’t need to high-five my students, this is not a petting zoo.
If you have to lift, you can’t pretend that toot was accidental.
Steady, everyone gets a hula hoop – it’s not Hunger Games.
There’s no crying in British Bulldog.
This year I have had the privilege of a new assignment and I taught about 130 kindies every day while their teacher had planning time. It was crazy and busy and incredible. I learned so much from their educators and from those little people. Perhaps most of all, kindergarten has taught me that life really is made up of the small things:
Recognizing your name for the first time is empowering.
Snow is its own kind of amazing.
Reading your first book on your own is unforgettable (for the teacher, too).
Dancing is fun, and even better when your teacher dances with you (with abandon).
Sometimes, a hug really does make everything better.
Now I cannot wait to see what is in store for next year. What are some of your memories from kindergarten? Good, bad, or ugly, don’t be shy.