A Year in Review: Teaching Kindergarten

A compilation of events and quotes from the school year:

Student complaining of hunger after school: "I need to get a DUI so I can get ice cream from the snack bar. Pleeeeeeease????" Teacher: "A DUI? ....You mean an IOU?"

I guess it's hard to remember acronyms when you don't know what they stand for. Haha.

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A student from the previous year confessed to liking his new teacher but told his mom she still wasn't his favorite teacher.

Nice to know I still have a place in their hearts even when they've moved on to a new grade. :)

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Sitting inside my classroom during the recess overhearing the excited buzz from the playground, when suddenly one of my little ones starts belting out Ariel's song when Ursula is stealing Ariel's voice. Goodness gracious, that girl has some powerful lungs!

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Student to another student: "Guess what? My sister can break a pencil!" "WHAT?!?!" "Yeah, she's that strong."

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Somewhere between week 5 and 6 is when they start racing across the playground the second they see you to give you a hug. (And those hugs don't stop until about 2nd grade.)

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"Teacher, I think you're  a beautiful girl and I want you to get married."

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Sometimes the discipline follow through leads to tears and exclamations, but this phrase was a first for me, "You're the unfairest, meanest teacher ever!" I told him I didn't think that comment was making the dear Lord very happy and asked him if he needed me to write down that rule for him to copy down too, in addition to the three others he was having to do. He zipped his lips real quick and shook his head at me. When he said that, I couldn't help but get a flashback of those times I was so angry at my parents for punishing me that I threw a fit and screamed that I hated them. I had to chuckle a little at the memory as I saw it in the face of this little one. I confess to being a little grumpy about it; I didn't think if have to deal with that until I was a mother!

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This year I have a student whose mom got pregnant during the school year. I often have kids who announce their moms are going to have a baby when they aren't really, so it took a little convincing. But the details and play-by-play, it gave me pause. Every other day I was hearing something new: "My mom has a baby growing in her tummy." "Miss Neal, my mom is making a lot of milk for the baby." "My mom is sick and throwing up a lot." "Miss Neal, guess what? My mom said when the baby comes I'm get to be the best big sister to my little brother." I'm sure her mom appreciates me knowing everything that is happening to her with the pregnancy.

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Student to another student: "I can wiggle my ears by myself." "No way!"

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After losing all his warm fuzzies and I asked him to take a note to the office. He threw the note in the trash can while he stood by the door and began yelling, "I'm tired of you and your stupid actions and going to the office! Shut up!"

That fun moment when a student says a bad word and the rest of the class sits in stunned silence to see how you're going to handle the situation...

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"Sometimes my parents have big people night."

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1st grade student: "Miss Neal, [student] told me you're having a baby. Are you?" Laughing, "No, I have to get married first." 1st grade student: "That's what I told him. You're getting married when we're 2nd graders, right?" "You have a very good memory."

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Student 1: "I have a baby in my tummy." Student 2: "No you don't." Student 1: "To get a baby out you have to have an operation. They have to take it out from the top." Student 2: "Yeah, it hurts." Student 3: "My mom is having surgery, and she is going to close her eyes."

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Student: "Miss Neal, I think I'm going to be the girl with flowers at your wedding." Me: "Oh, you know what? We already asked some girls from Oklahoma to be our flower girls, but thank you so much for offering." Student: "Oh, okay. Well I think I'm going to see you at your wedding. I'll ask my mom." Me: "Okay, ask your mom."

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Upon getting a pendant from the treasure box with a picture of a girl on it that looked similar to what you would find on a sign, a student said, "Look Miss Neal! I got a girl pass so I can go to the bathroom in my house."

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Had a parent teacher conference this morning (that I thought was tomorrow, whoops!) and the parent told me the doctors told her her son was never going to write or maybe even talk when he was diagnosed with Asperger's and that they better start getting him to learn how to use a computer. He is currently 23% higher in his writing skills than my class average. God's so cool!

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My boss has been in Tanzania the past couple weeks and sent word that they were missing two pieces of luggage (they contained 46 talking Bibles to be handed out) and asked us to pray. They had 250 without those 46, and had already handed out 100. One member of the trip was asked to go count how many were left before they went to the next location where they would hand them out; she counted 3 times and with the help of someone else because they math didn't add up. There were 222 Bibles for them to hand out! God doesn't just multiply bread and fish.

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While I was in the middle of teaching, I had a student make a sputtering sound and bend over, breathing shallow rapid breaths and hold her stomach. I knew she has asthma problems and has an inhaler in the office, but I wasn't even sure she was able to go get it based on her posture. I immediately thought of what we learned about Breathe essential oil and the inhaler stories at my class on Saturday and grabbed it to rub on her chest. Within seconds she gasped, and I saw her shoulders relax. I was thanking God that that class was fresh in my mind and I knew how to respond!

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Student: "Miss Neal, you're going to have so much fun at your wedding, huh?" Me: "Definitely!" Student: "Are you going to dance with Reagan there?" Me: "Yes, I am!" Student: *giggles

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During rest time, a little hand reached up on my file cabinet and started popping bubbles on my bubble wrap! Lol. The temptation was too great I guess!

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Student: "Miss Neal, what's God's favorite color?" Me: "I don't know, you should ask him." Student: "It's pink, I know it is."

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Another year finished. I can't believe I've been a teacher for three years already! I still love kindergarten the best. Each year I find a new thing to target on to make better. This year was writing. I found awesome, formatted paper for kindergarten writing that I used, and was astounded by how well my students learned how to write opinion papers, informational papers with diagrams, narrative papers, biographies, and stories. It was wonderful to see the result of my teaching in such a tangible way. I've never had better writers than I did this year. I am fervently praying that we get 10 more kindergartners for next year because I desperately want to stay in the lower grades. That's where my heart is.