Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dear colleagues who teach 3 year olds

Sweet, devilish faces just waiting to inhale your art supplies when you're not looking.

Oh my freaking poohcow. How on earth do you do it? How do you keep a bunch of mini-kids entertained, rounded up, and non-whiny day in and day out? Because my experience with them this past week has been both horrific and hilarious at the same time.

First of all, it is worthwhile to note that one-and-a-half hours of drawing is NOT sufficient to keep 3 year olds within the grasp of my control. I barely managed fit 30 minutes of drawing each day.

Ok. 60 minutes to go. Now what?

And thus, I find out how important it is for teachers of mini-kids to have a box of goodies - toys, puzzles, books, stuffed animals, kush balls, blocks, etc - around. I also discover how much cash kinder teachers shell out to outfit their room with these items. Goodness, and I was complaining about the cost of paper and pencils for the intermediate grades.

Supplies, and keeping my group entertained, were not the biggest issue. No. I found the complete lack of logic indescribable. Why do we have to color? Why do we have to draw? What is that for? What is that sound? What is that sound again, when I have already explained that it is the air conditioning TEN PREVIOUS TIMES. Why is your hair black? What makes the table squeaky? Can I go potty? Can I go potty again? Can I go potty RIGHT HERE ON THE CARPET? No? Oops, I DID IT ANYWAY. I'm hungry, SO I'M GOING TO EAT THIS HERE GLUE - the glue that is supposed to be used on my ladybug craft, which, by the way, is looking less like a ladybug and more like the entire foam isle of Joann's had been chewed up and regurgitated by a cow.

No, I do not understand - nor do I ever want to understand - the mind of a preschool kid. On the plus side, I can make up whatever nonsense I want, tell it with a straight face and they'll believe me. What happens if you eat the purple glue stick, Timmy you ask? IT WILL TURN YOUR POOP PURPLE, that's what happens. Cool, right? Glad you like it Timmy, because it will also turn your butt purple AND IT WILL REMAIN SO UNTIL YOU TURN 21.

Needless to say, I was entirely too grateful when the end of the art camp arrived and I said good bye to my little munchkins with hugs and "I love yous" and cards and flowers. Good lord parents who are probably about the same age as me. I taught your kid for FOUR DAYS. I'm curious what you might give me if I had taught your experimental gastronome of a child for a full school year. A diamond encrusted apple paper weight?

What a huge difference ten years makes. By the time these kids enter 8th grade, most of their mommies would have gone back to work and the masses of parent volunteers lining outside the school would have dried up. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It's nice when the students you teach don't need you to hold their hand anymore - that's the whole point, is it not?

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