Monday, May 2, 2011

Adventures in Preschool

If you don't know, I work 3 days a week as a 3yr old preschool teacher. It's basically the job I've been prepared for, since my degree is Early Childhood Ed, and I've student taught in preschool and helped out with those kiddos since I was like 18. (True story: I was one of the youngest VBS teachers at my church when I was 18, but I was totally stoked about a pirate themed VBS and my kids LOVED my excitement. It's also where I memorized my absolute favorite Bible verse ever. Joshua 1:9. I can sing you a song with motions if you like.) (Side note: This is usually how my conversations with Tom go. I usually bring up some random song and ask if he'd like me to sing it. Sadly, he usually says no.)

Anyway, you'd assume that it'd be a piece of cake for me to teach my 12 adorable kiddos. And normally, it is pretty easy. I spend a lot of time on the floor, watching them play and teaching them how to share and talk through conflicts instead of yelling and hitting. (It's way more fun then it sounds....most of the time.) I also try to teach them to do things themselves. So I usually say "you did it!!" a lot, which is awesome because now my kiddos say it to each other when someone does something new or on their own. It's precious and also hilarious to see how they repeat EVERYTHING i say. (In fact, they can direct quote me on the rules of the class, whose job it is to tell kids what to do, and sometimes on how to share.) My favorite was probably when one kids was taking a toy from another and a third child told the boy he needed to go get the teacher to help him.

We do actually learn too. We talk about the calendar, the days of the week, count the days in the month, do some addition and subtraction, sound out some letters, and read lots of books. I love reading books in silly's probably one of my new skills. I'm also awesome at singing songs and fingerplays. It's so much fun to be ridiculous with kids because they don't care.

It's hard sometimes to teach them to not hit and to share. It's hard to be enforce consequences or to sit a child out when they look sad, but I'm getting better. Sometimes I think I'm the strictest/meanest teacher ever, but then I get hugs from my kids when they do something on their own, or they come running to me when they're upset, and I feel like they get that I love them, and that's why I don't let them get away with everything. It's pretty good practice for being a mom.

One kid today had a scrape on his hand and after about 10 minutes, he finally let me wash it. When I tried to put a band-aid on it, he freaked out and started screaming and crying and begging me not to. It was more traumatic for me than for him, because he was fine once it was on, but we did it! I feel like this is some good experience for being a mom, and that makes it all a little easier.

To end this on a good note, here are some of the awesome things my kids said/did today:
- when coloring a cat "My cat's name is The Cat." (this happened twice, with 2 different kids)
- 2 of my boys running to the window on the playset to wave at me, and laughing as I waved back.
- "Miss Hampton, I did the puzzle all by myself!" "Those pieces aren't in the right place...." "I know!! I tricked you!!""
- Lots and lots of hugging goodbye and saying goodbye to each other.
- "I trapped Santa in my trap house."
- My hug from one of them when I told him he got his lunchbox put away all on his own. It was a very exciting occasion.
- Finding out I'm referred to as "my new teacher" after being there 3 months by one of my girls.

Aren't they adorable?? I think so.