Ah, kindergarteners. They are so darn precious…and hilarious….and curious….and wonderful.
I don’t blog much about teaching (I like to keep that in a separate sphere of my life for the most part), but it really is what I do for so many hours of the day! So, I suppose if I don’t take that into account and chat about it here every now and then, then I’m not really giving you the most accurate picture of who I am!
I answered some questions about Bjorn’s and my jobs in our FAQ section, but just to say it again, I am a Title I teacher in our elementary school. This means that I am a small-group reading and math teacher, supporting the district’s academic goals by boosting kiddos academically. I do a lot of small (Jan Richardson based) guided reading groups, as well as small math groups to strengthen certain skills in students.
This past school year, I was assigned as the Title I teacher for strictly kindergarten – a different way than we’ve structured it in the past. It was really neat spending all day every day with kindergarteners – a grade level I hadn’t been entirely sure I’d fall in love with. But, you know what? I did. I love kindergarteners. I worked with about 87 of them this school year. And I loved them all. Even the “naughty” ones. 😉
Like I said, they’re curious and hilarious, all wrapped up into one! We’ve had our share of tantrums, crying, confusion, and other difficult moments this school year (it’s a big step being a kindergartener!) but their hearts are so big and tender still, and their minds are so moldable in the best way. They’re learning to think and act the way they should, and their personalities are coming out so evidently! It’s a blast working with kindergarteners. And I really, really need to start keeping a true paper-and-pencil journal of all the great things they say!!
(Another funny aspect of working with them: several times I’d go home and tell Bjorn, “I feel like 30% of my day is spent picking up things we’ve dropped on the floor!!” They’re still working out proprioception, and knocking our markers, Unifix cubes, and pencils onto the floor with flailing elbows seems to be a necessary part of that journey!)
That being said, I did sit down and think through all the craziest things I never thought I’d have to say. And then the memories just started rolling back over me! I miss them already. I definitely had tears in my eyes as I hugged a few of them goodbye last week. But let’s focus on the positives before I totally turn into a mushy puddle on the floor here..
(Below are all LEGIT things I had to say to 5- and 6-year-olds these past 9 months!)
Things I Never Thought I’d Have To Say This School Year:
My first name is not “Mrs.”
We do not sit or “schlounge” backwards in our chairs!
[while trying to line up my small group to get them back to class!] Get up. Please stop meowing. You are not a cat.
Horses actually don’t come from eggs.
Please put your arms in your shirt the correct way! [said probably 60 times this school year! ha!]
I can’t see where that scratch is, so no, you won’t need a Band-Aid for that one.
Don’t worry, alone, the word “shut” is not a bad word. 🙂
Today is Monday, so yes, we do have school tomorrow!
We never actually do cartwheels down the hallway! I should not have to remind you again.
Yes, I am a grown-up. [I look young!!] I am the same age as your mother!
No, I’m not 16. No, I’m not 40.
Nope, I don’t have a bed here because teachers don’t actually live at school [this one blew their minds!]
Remember, we aren’t reading the words if we aren’t looking at the page!
It’s not a “fand,” it’s a “fan.” [I love these moments! They’re trying to make sense of words they’ve heard their whole lives but have never seen on a page or have had to spell.]
Please do not put the Unifix cubes in your mouth. Mrs. Olson has to touch those later.
It’s okay that you called me “Mom.” 🙂
I’ll miss you this summer.
I love you, too.
And now, it’s time to just dissolve into a puddle of tears. I miss their spontaneous hugs with their little arms around my neck. And their out-of-the-blue “I love you, Mrs. Olson!”
I know it sounds like I say “no” a lot during the school day, but I assure you, I actually air on the side of positive reinforcement. These phrases/memories were just too funny not to share! 🙂
Are any of you teachers, or work with kiddos? What are your favorite quotes you’ve heard?!