Friday, September 5, 2008

Baring It All In Preschool

Preschool doesn't really feel like preschool until a naked child wanders out of the bathroom. Well, today it happened, and now I feel like my year is finally under way.

Going to the potty is a big deal when you are three. Going to the potty at school when you are three is huge! There are some cool things about the potty at school - the toilet is really small, the sink is the perfect height, and you can use a zillion paper towels to dry your hands if the teacher doesn't see.

There are also some not so cool things. The fans in our bathrooms come on automatically, and they sound similar to a jet taking off. Not exactly quiet. Not especially appealing to little ones who don't like loud noises. There is also the issue of having to stop what you are doing to go potty. When it is time to potty at home you can leave the toy you are playing with, and more than likely, it will be there when you get back. Not so much at preschool. Imagine the frustration of finally getting a turn with that fire truck you have been waiting for, and suddenly you have to go potty. Some kids will simply go in their pants, and either deal with the consequences when they come; or claim ignorance.

I watched a little boy go potty, and then subtly just step out of the puddle he created. When I pointed the puddle out to him, and made the suggestion that we go change his clothes - he acted surprised..."Where did that come from?"

I assure all of my students that I will watch the toy they are playing with, save their place in line, do whatever it takes so they feel comfortable enough to leave and go potty.

Once the kids get to the potty there is an entire dialogue that takes place.

Child: "I'm done!"
Me: "Did you flush?"
Child: "Oops!"
Child reappears: "I flushed!"
Me: "Did you wash your hands?"
Child: "Oops!"
Child reappears: "I washed my hands!"
Me (about 50% of the time): "Did you dry your hands?"
Child: "Oops!"

About 10% of the time, the above dialogue starts with: "Did you remember to pull up your pants?" because the child will come out, pants down around the ankles, so intent on getting back to what he was doing that he couldn't even take the time to get the pants back up. And they are always surprised.

Me: "Did you pull up your pants?"
Child, looking perplexed as he looks down, then shocked as he exclaims: "Oops!"

Every year we have one Naked Pooper. A Naked Pooper is a child who needs to get completely undressed to do his business. And then, usually, needs help getting redressed. So, he (or she) will come out of the bathroom into the classroom, looking for assistance. Last year, my Naked Pooper would simply forget that he needed to get redressed. I would look across the room, and there he would be, standing at the easel, buck naked. Weird thing, only me and the parents working in the classroom thought it was weird - his classmates didn't give him a second glance.

Today's naked moment occurred when a student forgot to pull up her pants. As she walked out of the bathroom, she was ready for my barrage of questions. "I already flushed the toilet and washed my hands!" she announced victoriously. "Sweetie, you need to pull up your pants before you come out of the potty, but I am proud you remembered to flush." To which she responded, "Why do I need to pull up my pants?"

1 comment:

Leah NiƱa Elsie Vega said...

You sure are patient with your students. Keep it up! If you need any advice with the children, you can visit us at anytime.