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Kinder Memories Part 3

Tabitha Helms

This week has been a whirlwind due to parent teacher conferences and a therefore shortened day schedule for our afternoon kindergarten class. I don't mind it too much considering Thursday we had off for Veteren's Day so I got to spend the day with my whole family frolicking in Coronado, baking a gigantic cupcake, and enjoying the sunshine, Friday we had off due to furlough where I experimented with updos for a friend who is going to the Marine Ball this Friday, and throwing a spontaneous dinner party because I felt like cooking from my new cookbook and didn't want to do it just for myself, Monday we had off because it was a full day of conferences so I spent the day at Disneyland with my girlfriends enjoying the Christmas decorations followed by a much needed visit with a friend I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. Then I jumped right into my shortened schedule packed with Thanksgiving themed activities, conferences, and lesson planning for the week after Thanksgiving when we start preparing for our Holiday program. I've been getting the question, "How do you like teaching?" quite a bit recently. I've given them a positive reply. I really love it, and it's great to look back at the affirmation I have received from teachers and parents both that I have been doing great at it. It's been overwhelming to me how well I have fit into my niche when it comes to teaching. I never wanted a career. I was perfectly happy with the idea of settling down and being a mom. That's still a dream for me, but I have found joy in what I'm doing as a teacher, and I just love it! It's funny because I never considered being a teacher. When we were young, that's what my sister was going to be. I thought I was going to perform--music, theatre, whatever. And yet, when those plans fell through, and I went to a back-up plan of teaching, I found where I belong and what I'm supposed to do. Music and theatre is something that is challenging for me, I have to really work hard to be good. Teaching just comes naturally. I think what I'm most surprised with is how much I'm enjoying kindergarten. I've always preferred the "safer" middle elementary grades--2nd and 3rd. I thought teaching 5-year olds to learn how to be in school would be crazy, but it's been fun. I have to say the only things I haven't enjoyed is the constant exposure to germs (sick of being sick!) and lesson planning. I don't like lesson planning because it's hard to know what pace I'm supposed to be going since it's not my own classroom. And it's overwhelming because I have a million things I want to do in a too small amount of time. Overall, it's been great though. :)

Some memories from the past couple weeks: Today I had a swarm of children run up to me after school and surround me in a group hug. I'm not usually a fan of group hugs, but when they're not too tall, it's kind of nice. :)

My kids have been getting their flu shots lately, and I keep having sad little ones telling me their arms hurt. Two of them came to school with fresh shots and those awesome stickers they give out at the pediatrician's office. They randomly decided to give me and my supervising teachers the stickers. Mine is a Sleeping Beauty sticker. I have to tell you that it makes me really happy. It's also just another glimpse into the innocent generosity of young kids.

Every day I have children announcing to me that they have loose teeth or have lost one. It is the most exciting thing in the world. I feel for them, I really do. But when you hear it every day, it gets a little harder to muster up the same enthusiasm. Especially when they are all shouting at once and sporadically swarming to my chair in the front to show me their little rows of teeth that wiggle. Oh goodness!

Every time we introduce a new alphabet letter, I read them a story containing several words with that letter (kind of tongue twisting!) as well as a little song put to a tune like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "I've been Working on the Railroad," or "Sailing, Sailing." Those tunes are hard to remember the whole way through when you haven't heard them since you were a little tyke. But, I plug away valiantly. I don't know how this started, but every time I finish one of those little tunes (whether successfully or not!) my kids burst into sporadic applause. I must admit, that it is very encouraging to hear, and quite endearing.

I love those little kinders!