This year I have been teaching preschool.
It was my mom’s idea, but I am really glad she thought of it. The main reason why I put the idea into practice was that I could make money. If you are a girl who is under a certain age, just about the only job you can get is babysitting. What is a preschool if not glorified babysitting?
Of course I do teach a little bit. I teach one letter a week. Although that does feel somewhat pointless as there is one boy who apparently knew all of his letters before hand, and all the other kids remember M. That’s the sound you make when you eat ice cream.
Then I read one picture book a week. The idea is that I teach out of the book. I bring up subjects to talk about like, “Look at all of these geometric shapes on the floor of Jesse Bear’s kitchen. How many can you name?” That sort of thing.
I don’t just enjoy teaching preschool because of the money, though. I thoroughly enjoy all of my students. As my mom says, they are each unique, like snowflakes. I have eight students, my sister Sunny being one of them.
One girl, who has several older brothers, loves playing imagination games. The other kids pretend to be moms or kangaroos and thing like that, but she has story lines to her games. They often end up having a witch who is trying to murder the princess. Sunny particularly likes playing with this girl. I would have too when I was her age.
The one boy that I mentioned earlier has a photographic memory. He knows all of his letters and that Saturn is the planet with rings. He is three years old, one of the youngest kids. When I ask everyone questions like, “Do you know what the letter of the week is?” he is the only one who appears to have heard me. Yet he is very quiet and doesn’t seem to realize that he is the only one his age who knows about the Solar System.
Another girl is the only one who can remember the other kids’ names. She loves asking questions. “Whatchya doing?” to my mom (who is trying to get out of the house) and “Why ya doing that?” when I’m trying to get everyone to sit on their mats for story time. She is the only one who ever gets jokes.
Another boy doesn’t usually play very much, but he likes to talk and think about things. When we go on walks, all the other kids literally pretend that they are wild animals. He holds my hand and says things like, “I guess they have to be animals to get their energy out.”
One girl only ever talks in whispers. She is always asking to see my watch so that she can tell when her mom is coming to pick her up. She never minds getting dropped off, she always enjoys her time, and she always wants to come back. I guess she just likes to have an idea when she should expect her mom. I can understand that.
One boy cries every time his mom drops him off. I just have to show him a tank or a battleship or a transformer then he is immediately the happiest kid there. He rarely ever speaks to me except when he wants to tell me about Spiderman or Ironman or something like that. I don’t generally understand what he’s saying due to the fact that he talks very fast and he acts a lot of things out as he says them.
The last girl likes talking on the phone. She “calls” me on her “cellphone” and always has the last word in our conversation. In fact she barely says anything but hello at the beginning and goodbye at the end. That’s what’s called efficient.
There are so many funny situations every week. One time I read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury. It is a repetitive story about a family going over different landscapes trying to find a bear. When they finally do find one, the bear it chases them all the way home. I asked everyone whether they liked the story. The girl who likes asking questions immediately said, “I don’t! It’s too scary.” The boy who is very quiet said that he did like the story. Sunny said, “It’s so sad. The bear just wanted a friend.” She probably said that because of the last picture in the book:
No one else commented.
Once, when all the kids had free time, the girl who always whispers was playing with a glass heart. She came up to me and whispered, “Those boys broke my heart.” Luckily, neither the heart she was actually talking about nor the heart I thought she was talking about were broken.
I love being with all the kids in my preschool. It gives me an excuse to read picture books and pretend to be a wild animal. Who doesn’t want to do that?