That's Right, I Teach Kindergarten and I'm AWESOME!
Welcome to my #kinderblog13 challenge number two: BRAG. I was like the many of my fellow kinderbloggers when I got the assignment and thought, "What? Brag? That makes me so uncomfortable!" Then as I was brushing my teeth this morning, it occurred to me: I love being a part of the #kinderchat community for a reason, and they have accepted me with open arms for a reason. We are an amazing group of people seeking to learn and inspire everyday! I am a KINDERGARTEN TEACHER and I'M DARN PROUD OF IT! So you betcha I'm going to brag about it! Who knows the book "My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks" by Hanoch Piven? This is a story about a little girl who isn't satisfied with her drawing of her family and thinks each member deserves a more creative description. She goes through each of her family members and at the end she begins to describe herself. I'm going to borrow from Mr. Piven a little here to aid in my braggalicous mission!
What about kindergarten teachers? Well, there is SOOOOOOOO much I want to tell you about being a kindergarten teacher!
I am as cuddly as the fluffiest pillow
and as sugary as candy.
Okay so let's start with the obvious, kindergarten teachers are pretty caring and affectionate people, it's in our DNA. One glance at a child in our class and we can probably figure out how he/she is feeling. We know instinctively when a kid needs help, a hug, some words of encouragement or when they need us to take a step back. We don't only think about their learning but their social and emotional well-being as well. No matter what happens, good days and bad, we care about these little tikes and want to give them the best that we have to give everyday. Let's not forget that we have been trained to identify the every positive trait, behavior, or action in our kids. We a great at giving praise and compliments or just some kind encouraging words to not just our students but to people in general. Which is why whenever we are around each other, we see the best in each other and find inspiration in each other. I cannot tell you how much I have learned from the many teachers I have been fortunate enough to interact and work with. I am the teacher I am today because of my colleagues and the children that I have been so lucky to teach.
I am observant as binoculars,
or a magnifying glass
...or even a surveillance camera!
It has been said before that teachers have this uncanny ability to know what you are doing even if their backs are turned to you. I would have to say this is somewhat true and yes, we do have eyes at the back of our heads! I don't know how, but there comes a point where you know each kid so well that you can identify any child's whisper/voice without turning around. Perhaps it's the training but somehow a kindergarten teacher's peripheral vision is also super switched on! I can write on my easel and still know exactly when I need to say "Hands to yourselves guys" without pausing or turning around. I can foresee an accident before it happens and prevent it calmly and quickly by verbally reasoning with my students. It's almost as though I have superpowers! That's right, it's because I'm a kindergarten teacher baby!
I can multitask like an octopus
and am as energetic as a light bulb
Yep, that's right, teachers are like octopuses, we can tackle eight things at once! How else do you think we are able to set up several different tasks for children to be engaged in and monitor them at the same time? Our job requires us to be upbeat, peppy, dance around and sing like a goof ball, as well as mentally stay on task, know your lessons, adapt and adjust on the fly if a lesson doesn't work, and keep a group of children physically, mentally and emotionally safe. It requires an awful lot of mental and physical energy, and we do it everyday no matter how tired we actually feel. Personally, I'm often ready for bed by 4pm! All I am trying to say is that it takes a special type of person to be able to teach young children and I am darn proud to say that I am one of them!
My job is as awesome as fireworks!
Let's rewind back to about six years ago when I met my ex-boyfriend's grandmother for the first time and told her what I did for a living. Her response "Oh, you're a teacher, that's okay (insert name of ex here) makes a lot of money." I was pretty insulted, but kept my mouth shut to just keep the peace. Now let's fast forward a little bit to last month as I sat around a dinner table with some of my girlfriends who all work in the corporate world. They all started talking about how stressed out they were at work, some were discussing ways to move out of the industry, others had already just quit. Then one of the girls said, "It was great in the beginning, it was all about making lots of money and buying nice things! Back then it was enough to keep you going in the office. Now, all that doesn't really seem to matter anymore, I'm not passionate about what I do." Maybe those weren't her exact words, but that was the gist. I sat there and listened, but then I just blurted out, "Sorry guys, I don't have that problem, I love what I do." I think they agreed that I was pretty lucky. After all these years, I still find inspiration in what I do, I am excited when I learn something new and I can't wait to try it out in my class. When I successfully try something naturally I am very pleased, I feel validated as a teacher and that I'm doing good things with my students. I am humbled every day when I see awesome ideas happening in the classrooms of my peers around the world and most especially when my students amaze me with the wonderful things that they can do. I am grateful for the excitement I feel when I walk away from a workshop or conference with my head buzzing with new ideas. I am grateful for being blessed with endless groups of amazing children to work with year after year. But most of all, I am grateful that I am one of the few people in this world that actually LOVES what they do and I see this very same passion in SO MANY of my colleagues. The passion in this profession can be intoxicating, don't you think my fellow teachers? Such an awesome feeling...like fireworks every day :)
So, you want me to brag, hell yea I'll brag! I am a kindergarten teacher and I am AWESOME!!!
Naturally, this isn't really limited to just kindergarten teachers, I'm sure all teachers can relate :)
Here is a collage I created using one of Hanoch Piven's iPad apps called Faces iMake. It combines all of the descriptions above into one image. Sorry if my collage has made us teachers look like some sort of insane octo-robot person! I'm sure many of you can do MUCH better than me haha! I read Piven's books to my kids to get them to use descriptive language. Then we would paint a background face and physically collect objects, pictures and magazine clippings to stick onto them. This app is another way to do the project!
There are so many more things I could tell you about teachers, but why should I be the only one? Let's get creative! Want to add more similes and metaphors about teachers to the list? Add one in a comment below and explain why! Maybe you could even insert a collage if you've fiddled around with the app. We all know teachers are pretty creative people, you guys could probably come up with some awesome ones, much better than the ones I came up with! C'mon guys, help me tell the world how awesome teachers truly are ;)
P.S. You can also check out "My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil" for more inspiration. Thanks Hanoch Piven for being a part of my classroom over the years!
CLICK HERE to see how I used these two books in my classroom this past school year.