Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Diary of a Preschool Teacher

I am a teacher. Of three year olds. This gets me into that elite group of wonderful, self-sacrificing people that find it to be their life’s passion to educate our young people. I admire these people, and know for a fact I could not do their job. To teach in our school
system, with all the politics, and the behavior issues and the lack of pay, I know I am not cut out to be one of those teachers.

But teaching three year olds…now this is a dream. Three is the perfect age. I don’t have to worry about new state requirements for the math curriculum
. We count to 12 everyday to make sure all our friends are in class. Dress code? Anything goes when you’re three. It’s totally fine to wear your pajamas on the outside of your clothes. And matching? The more an outfit clashes, the better. We do have to wear tennis shoes to school, but wearing them on the correct feet is optional. Writing skills? Maybe by the end of the year they will write their name. But at three, they tell the most amazing stories, that I write down for them. They let their imaginations run wild, and we don’t worry about beginnings, middles, and ends, or punctuation, or point of view. Science is the best, because only a three year old can truly appreciate the wonder of a lima bean that is sprouting, or how red and yellow mixed together makes orange. Behavior issues? In my class, one of the main things we learn how to do is to be a good friend. Anytime someone acts inappropriately, it is an opportunity to learn, not time to go to the principal’s office.

I have the perfect job – I get to paint, build with blocks, color, wear what I want, make sandcastles, play Duck, Duck, Goose and jump into puddles. Where in corporate America is that in a job description? I also get to clean puke, change peed in pants, get sneezed on and wipe boogies from noses. No, you won’t find that in a corporate job description either, but I take the good with the gross.

Probably, though, the best part of teaching three year olds is how cool they think I am. And I am most definitely not cool – ask my own kids. Three year olds laugh at my jokes, and they think I am an awesome dancer. They think I am beautiful and what I have to say is important. I am held up as sort of an icon by them and I have to admit…I like that. But maybe they see me that way because I see them in the same light. They are funny, smart, have wonderful and important things to say, and are some of the best dancers on the planet.

It is spring here in Arizona, my favorite time of year. The school year is starting to wind down, and it becomes a challenge for me stay inside with the kids. I would much rather run barefoot through the grass and feel the sun on my face than sit inside and watch the trees from my window. So I get creative and try to have more outdoor related activities.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope to entertain, share ideas and make you laugh. Enjoy.


alexandra28 said...

Wow. I never had any real experience with kids before a month ago but for the last four weeks I have been volunteering at a local preschool and I can totally identify with everything you said- I am a student and thought I would just work there for a few days since time off after exams but I'm staying til the end of term and I now know what I want to do with my life. I agree that one of the best things is that the kids think you're amazing and smart and funny and the other great thing is all their hugs and infectious smiles- it's instant gratification. But you sure have to be light-hearted about the gross bits!

Sandy Tynan said...

I found this blog as I was searching for something else, but right one sister! I have been teaching for 25+ years and threes are the best. I couldn't agree more. I love my job and I too love feeling like a "rock star" when my students see me in the morning!!
Thank you