I've always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing school when I was a kid, grading fake worksheets on the scrap paper my dad brought home from work and teaching lessons to my stuffed animals and Barbies on the dry erase boards that hung in my toy room. I veered off my path a bit when I went to college and majored in psychology, but my career path ultimately ended in the teaching profession.
When I got my Masters degree in elementary education, I envisioned myself teaching 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. I'm certified to teach K through 6, and I swore I'd never take a job teaching either K or 6. Well guess what I'm teaching now. Yes, the universe has a funny way of rewarding us. I am indeed a kindergarten teacher.
I'm not crazy about the grade level, but I have to admit it's not as bad as I expected. I attribute my change in heart to the fact that my own children are close to this age, and I get it. I understand how to speak the kindergarten language because I understand (for the most part) my own kids.
But there are always times when being a kindergarten teacher IS as bad as I expected. Like the past week. And I thought I'd share.
Here are my...
Top 10 Reasons Why Kindergarten Has Kept Me on My Toes In the Last Week
10) A little girl asked me how old I was. I answered with my typical response: "How old do you think I am?" "Well," she said. "I don't think you're 100 yet. I'm guessing 90." Hmmm, I better try some new night cream.
9) I filled out yet another assessment for a student being tested for ADD. I often wonder why it's so prevalent these days. I hate seeing kids struggle at such a young age.
8) I love eavesdropping on my students as they pretend play, but sometimes it's unreal what they say and do. "Let's pretend we're pregnant." "Ok, I'm going to the hospital to have my baby now." "I'm not having my baby yet. Wait for me, I'm going outside around the corner to smoke a cigarette and then I'll have my baby." I don't even know what to say about that.
7) One boy grabbed another boy's pencil right out of his hand. After playing tug of war with the pencil, the original owner was stabbed in the chest. Went through his shirt and broke the skin. Both boys sobbed hysterically for a good 15 minutes. (This contributed to 50% of #6 below.)
6) At one point the other day, there were 4 kids crying at the same time in my classroom. That's WAY too many tears for me.
5) A student's mother called the school to request a conference with me. I called her back to schedule a conference and listened as she explained that it was about time we met up to discuss her child's progress. I bit my tongue to keep myself from reminding her that she failed to show up for her scheduled appointment on the school-wide conference day back in November. We agreed on a day and time and hung up. 90 seconds later she called me back to reschedule. As I hung up for the second time I realized I had carelessly called her from my own phone. Great, now high-maintenance parent has my cell phone number.
4) I held out my hand to help a student with his work, and he sneezed on it. Twice. It was nice and wet with lots of snotty germs.
3) The classroom was almost completely silent as the students worked independently on their workbooks. Suddenly, a boy stood up and started singing "Moves Like Jagger" at the top of his lungs. It was accompanied by a little dance. Try getting your class back after that.
2) One boy was sitting on the floor, quietly reading a book. Another boy stormed over, slapped the unsuspecting boy across the face, and started screaming. Why? Because he wanted the book. I hate telling parents news like this. What parent wants to hear that their 6-year-old can't control his anger?
1) A student was in la la land, zoning out and squirming instead of completing his seat work. When I asked him why he wasn't working, he said, "My butt itches." I was stifling my giggles when I suddenly noticed that only one of his hands was on the table. I don't think I need to tell you where his other hand was.
Can't wait to see what the next week brings...