Elbow, knees, dreams

a blog about preschool, public schools, and what it's really like to be a teacher

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my brain is overloaded

On the one hand, spending a morning with preschoolers can be lovely and simple. Read stories, play, follow routines, talk, play outside, learn about interesting things. On the other hand, spending a morning with preschoolers can be made frustrating and Read More...

the flaw in my brilliant plan

I believe that I am a very good teacher, and that classroom management (behavior, organization, community-building, routines, etc.) is one of my strengths. And that is largely true. I start off the year by teaching the children all of our routines, hold Read More...

on sharing, the little red hen, and teachers

There is a new teacher teaching the afternoon class this year. She is young, determined, and confident. I had hoped to develop a mentoring relationship with her, but she doesn’t seem interested. Which is completely fine. She doesn’t have much overlap Read More...

now that was a margarita day if I ever had one

Yesterday was even more difficult than I had expected. I got to work early, but it still wasn’t early enough to get everything done before the big meeting. The meeting was actually quite productive; Mom showed up, with Little One in tow, and Mom was very Read More...

all the ways in which I suck as a teacher

Monday rolls around, and I often don’t have my lesson planning done, so I have to wing it. I don’t keep changing the centers activities to match our theme; it’s so much work and I don’t have the time. Okay, sometimes I do. But not nearly enough. Sometimes Read More...

your bounciness wears me out, honey

I have a darling child in my class — let’s call him Roo, after the bouncy joey in the Winnie the Pooh books — who has suddenly become a joyful little tornado. He was never like this until about a month or two ago, and now he cannot stop moving. If he Read More...

school mommy

We had an intense morning, and Miss Slinger and I weren’t sure when it was over what exactly had happened. It wasn’t like anyone was terrible, but there was a fair amount of not listening to my directions, quite a bit of wandering around, a few kicks Read More...

mean girls

Tuesday: Chutney got off the bus and told me, “M___ said a bad word to me!” She was almost in tears. (M___ is the fifth grader she has a crush on.) Turns out the bad word was the “b” word. Who calls a four year old girl a “b”?!! I tracked down our behavior Read More...

a little challenge

There is a child in my class who is driving me crazy. Let’s call her Raspberry. She is rarely in the right place at the right time. She is often not doing what she is supposed to be doing. She routinely ignores everything I say to her. She wants to do Read More...

flying with one engine burned out

I mentioned that I have been sick. The last few weeks have been difficult; I’ve been overcome with a bone-deep fatigue and had difficulty coping with….well, everything. I was so tired I couldn’t even think straight about how weird this was and how maybe Read More...

backpacks

Dear Parents, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you about backpacks. It may surprise you to hear that I would like them to be empty, most of the time. This means I would prefer it if your child not use it as a dumping ground for crayons, markers, Read More...

the little indignities of preschool

Two little girls had pee accidents this morning. One of them made it to the bathroom, but not quite to the toilet. The other — Cherry — announced loudly at recess, “Mrs. X., I peed my pants!” from the top of the climber. We had just enough time for Miss Read More...

cherry

Cherry is my other problem. (It’s funny; in any other year, neither Cherry nor Pumpkin would really count as a behavior problem, but this year, everyone is such an angel that these two do stand out.) She keeps testing me. She doesn’t listen, doesn’t follow Read More...

loud

Miss Slinger was gone today. I used to teach kindergarten and was by myself with 25 kids, so you’d think I could handle 17 on my own. And I can, of course. But it was hard; I’ve gotten so used to having a wonderful assistant teacher in the room with me. Read More...

our day at the park

Every year, a few days before the last day of school, I take my class to a nearby park for our end of the year celebration. (Last year I called it our end of the year party, and one of my girls showed up in a gorgeous party dress — we had to find park Read More...
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