Let me preface with this; yes, I am certified to teach PK-3 (soon PK-5) BUT I know that I am NOT a kindergarten teacher… at least as kindergarten has been presented to me through subbing. I am confident in my abilities as a teacher… until I walk into a kindergarten room and soon that confidence vanishes and is replaced my tears of frustration and exhaustion and I try to put on a brave face and figure out how to run reading groups with no guidance, make three different crafts with children that still can’t cut well and use way too much glue, give a dictation test to children that still can not differentiate what letter makes the /r/ sound (which began ALL of the words), coax three children down the stairs after visiting a fourth grade classroom on the second floor (I sure hope they live in a ranch home because these were real tears!), and make sure all of the children make it home in one piece on the correct transportation with everything they brought to school.
I honestly feel like the best visual for my experience today is herding puppies… kids were constantly out of their seats, talking when they weren’t supposed to be, touching each other (pinching, poking, tugging, hitting…) and basically doing everything except listening to me. I love love love children but wow- kindergarten is another dimension! My head spun, I could hardly catch my breath, and yet somehow…
A few of those 3 1/2 foot tall bundles of energy found there way into my heart (how can my eyes not well with tears when a little face that tells me I am beautiful and I remind him of his Mommy or my heart melt when I have little kiddos begging to hold my hand because I am a “really nice sub”?
Maybe these are the things that keep kindergarten teachers going… because otherwise, I have no idea how it is done. Plain and simple… kindergarten is exhausting and I think all of those teachers deserve a raise!