Thursday, August 8, 2013

My kindergarten experience

My kindergarten experience was quite different that Nathan's was.  I remember my dad taking me to Kindergarten registration and seeing the most beautiful teacher I had ever seen before.  She was young and had long, blonde hair down her back.  I remember thinking that she looked just like a character on my mom's soap...Days of Our Lives.  I HAD to have her as my teacher.  And lucky enough, I did.

I don't remember a whole lot about kindergarten.  I do have a few distinct memories: we played "house" in the dramatic play center and used my Strawberry Shortcake blanket as a tablecloth...everyday.  I still have that blanket and my little one plays with it now.  I remember naptime and being pumped when I got to lay my mat beside my friend's mat.  I remember eating a snack of carrot sticks, cookies, and chocolate milk...everyday.  I remember sitting in a circle and learning my phone number and address.  And I remember putting on a play "Jack and the Beanstalk" and feeling disappointed that I was not chosen for an important role....just the magic harp.  I don't remember a lot of "learning"...mostly playing, socializing, and coloring...exactly what kindergarten needed to be back in 1986.  I loved kindergarten and it started me off on my journey to becoming a teacher. 

Often teaching kindergarten is looked down upon or pitied.  Either people think you play all day or feel extremely sorry for you for being crazy enough to hang out with twenty 5 year olds all day.  However, anyone who has spent any amount of time in a kinder classroom knows that times have come from beyond Ms. Lippy's paste eating days. 

I will even admit that when I found out I was going to be teaching kindergarten I was scared, intimidated, and nervous.  For the first 6 weeks of my first year in Kindergarten I said repeatedly "I don't think God every intended for me to be a kindergarten teacher."  However, I eventually found my K-groove and have discovered that kindergarten is actually my favorite grade I've taught so far.  I think kindergarten is what you make of it.  I have accepted the fact that it will take us 3 weeks to learn to properly line up, 20 minutes to walk to lunch because we have to stop and get re-organized, and a whole 9 weeks before my kiddos will remember where to put their daily folder each morning.  I have also accepted that I will see those same precious kiddos bloom and blossom unlike anything I've ever seen.  They will read and write and add and subtract and problem solve.  They will learn to be friends and to demonstrated proper school manners.  They will enter 1st grade ready to accept new challenges.  I hope they will retain precious memories of their kindergarten year...after all...everyone remembers their kindergarten teacher for good or for bad! :)

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