Monday, August 22, 2011

One Week

This is the last week of summer.  Next week we have Danika's orientation, Nate's orientation and I go back to work.  I'm sad to see summer go but excited about the upcoming school year.  I know it may not have sounded like it with my previous posts about Nate going to Kindergarten (I think I may be in denial right now) but I am excited about getting back to teaching.

This will be my 4th year at my current job.  I teach 3 year-olds.  Before I had kids, if you would have told me that I would have liked teaching 3 year-olds I would have laughed at you.  I mean . . . what can you teach a 3 year-old?  Seriously.  Especially a large group of 3 year-olds?   I had all of these preconceived ideas about a class of 3 year-olds.  I worried because I was sure that they wouldn't listen - I've met 3 year olds that are more stubborn than the most stubborn adults I know.  They have no attention span and they don't like to share.   I was also really worried that they would cry all the time and I wouldn't know how to make them feel better.

Of course, I was totally wrong.  I'm amazed at what 3year-olds can do.  I never expected to see a 3 year-old have an "ah-ha" moment like I saw when I taught 3rd grade.  BUT . . . they do!  They love being in school.  They love sharing stories and talking about things that they know about.  They love learning.  They may not have the attention span of a third grader but they can listen to a story and talk about it.  They can do a calendar activity and spend 15 minutes doing an activity before moving on to another one.

Every year I forget how hard it is for them the first few weeks of school.  Once they get in the routine, it is a piece of cake and we have a lot of fun!  Those first few weeks, though . . . they can be tough.  Some of them will be away from mom and dad for the first time.  Some of them will cry.  Some of them will cry a lot.  Some of them will have no problem playing and sharing.  Some of them will stay off to the side, quietly by themselves.  Some of them will get upset when we have to move from one room to another and clean up our toys.  Some of them will forget to stop playing long enough to take a potty break.  Some of them will cry.  (I know I said that before . . . but it's bound to happen more than once)

By the end of the year, though, it is amazing to see how much they change.  They don't get emotional about leaving the 3 year-old preschool class . . . but I always get a little choked up when the end of the year comes.  They change so much.  They grow so much in that one year.  They know things they didn't know.  They can do things they didn't do when they started.

I think that is one of the main reasons I love teaching 3 year-olds.  I love to see them grow.  As much as I loved the "ah-ha" moment in a 3rd grader . . . it is absolutely precious in a 3 year-old.  You can't help but smile when you see it.

So - the point?  I'm sad to see summer come to an end but I'm so excited to be meeting a new group of little ones to watch grow for the next 9 months!

Here's some pictures from our AWESOME summer:
Twins?  Yes...they are...really...I promise! picnikfile_DOayCL Happy Danika Nate and Danika digging in the sand Dean on the beach picnikfile_CqWuzl Slip Sliding Wee