Last week, a friend of mine (who just so happens to be a kindergarten teacher) asked me for a favor: watch her class for half an hour during my classroom's counselor lesson. OF COURSE I agreed right away.


Before I go on, let me give you some background information: 

1. My own mom was a kindergarten teacher for 17 years. 
2. I have been teaching FIFTH graders for the past 8 years. 
3. This day just happened to be the Friday before Spring Break. 
4. I have a five year old and a three year old at home. 

So there I am...2:15pm...walking towards a class of five year olds with a big smile on my face. In my hands are a stack of papers that I planned to grade because the kindergarten teacher left a short DVD for me to play during this half hour. If you teach kindergarten (or 1st, or 2nd grade), I can already hear you chuckle at my innocence. 

I confidently walk into the classroom and I am greeted with several hugs. They are so sweet. Yet...behind me...I hear something that sounds like crying. Crying?  It turns out that I was watching the class right after their lunchtime. This little girl's "Nana" had come to eat lunch with her. Well, Nana needed to leave, and this child wasn't going to have it. 

Uh-oh. 

Mission number 1: have students sit down on the rug and put in DVD. 
Mission number 2: peel kindergartner from Nana. 

While I fumble with the DVD, I am bombarded with quite a few questions: 
~Can we go to the treasure box? 
~Do you know today is Friday?
~Do you know tomorrow is spring break?
~Can we go to the treasure box?
~Are we going outside today?
~Where are the book buddies (my fifth graders)?
~Why aren't the book buddies here?
~Can we go to the treasure box? 

This was all within a two minute period. I'm starting to sweat. 

I finally accomplish mission one. On to mission two...who happens to be crying even harder at this point. Nana desperately looks at me and says, "take her" and I desperately look at Nana and say, "okay..."

Yes, I literally peeled the child from Nana and closed the door. Yes, there were tears and some screams, but I sat down next to her and quickly changed the subject. I am, after all, a mommy. I understand five year old brains.  

She whimpered for the next half hour, but at least she wasn't screaming. 

Now back to the other twenty-some odd five year olds. You would THINK that they would sit quietly and watch the interesting cartoon, right? After all, my daughter would be interested. Nope, not so much. 

Oh, a few were watching quietly. The others? One was looking through the teacher's cabinet, two were wrestling on the floor, three girls were rummaging through papers, crayons, and glue because they felt like creating some art, two needed to use the restroom, and another asked me if he could go to the treasure box today. 

This was the longest half hour of my life. The longest. By the end, I managed to somewhat line them up quietly and walked them outside into the waiting arms of another kindergarten teacher. 

Oh, how I missed my fifth graders. I grabbed my (still ungraded papers) and ran back to the class and told them all about my adventure. It didn't sound quite so adventurous when I repeated it to them, but I had certainly been through a journey! 

DEAR kindergarten teacher, 

I admire you. 
I don't know how you do it. 
You deserve a major raise. 
I will never take you for granted. 

1 comment:

  1. That's so funny and true of all they go through! I can imagine the kindergarten teachers sweating just as much if they were in your class for half an hour ;)

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