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Kindergarten and Things That Match

Posted in Annecdotes, Kindergarten, Stories, Teaching with tags , , , , on April 22, 2010 by Drumly

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Kindergarten and Things That Match

(Or the Day I Thought I Was Going to Be Fired)

This is a picture of a girl I found on the Interweb. She kind of looks like one of the girls in the story. Photo by D Sharon Pruitt, and is licensed through Creative Commons.

September, Teaching Year 15

It had been awhile since I had taught the youngest of the young in a school, so I was really excited when I was given the chance to teach Kindergarten Music.  During those first few weeks, routines are a real challenge, but the teachers that I was going in for already had their kids sitting in spots on the carpet and ready for Mr. Martin coming in to teach them songs and games.  The first class was an odd mix, 17 girls and 6 boys.

I had prepared a nice and active set of fun songs for them.  The big finish for the songs was one of my favourites, called One Green Jelly Bean.  In the song we have tummy aches, because we ate green jelly beans.  We get lots of crazy advice on how to cure our tummy ache . . jumping up and down, patting our heads while we jump up and down . . . and more and more craziness. I always add more and more things to the end of the song, because, well, that is just the kind of person that I am.

We had just added “wiggle our bottoms” and “sticking out our tongues” to the list of cures, when one girl thought the best cure for jelly bean tummy aches was lifting her dress way up over her head. Recognizing that this was a solid teaching opportunity (I know, it comes from having 15 years of teaching experience), I started towards the little lady spinning around at the back of the carpet, all the while making hand actions trying to get her to put her dress down. I was also still singing the song, because the made up lyrics pretty much depend on me singing them once the CD is over.

Looking around nervously, I watched as three, four, five, six more girls started lifting their dresses up over their heads, while flicking out their tongues like frogs, wiggling their bottoms and jumping up and down.

Bringing the song quickly to an ending, I asked the students to sit down.  To my relief, most of the girls sat right away, dresses down and a modicum of five-year old style decorum restored. Except for two.  As I sat down in the teacher’s chair they rushed up to me, still holding their dresses up, to a point just beneath their chins.  I asked them to sit down.

“But Mister, lookit!”, the one girl said, her face peering down.

“Um.  You know, you’re big girl now, and here you are in school.  We have to keep our clothes on properly,” I started, trying to use this teaching moment.

She was not to be distracted by a mere music teacher however. “No, but lookit!  Lookit! ” came her rather forceful reply.

In all honestly, if you could have seen the excitement on her freckled face, the sparkling blue-green eyes,  the glowing smile that comes from sharing your bestest, biggest discoveries with someone, why, you would want to be a teacher.  That look is one of the most rewarding things about my job.  The face just normally isn’t framed by a red and white polka dot dress that is being lifted up to just under a chin.  I normally teach grade six after all, and they have usually mastered how to wear clothes by that age.

“Lookit! Our panties!”

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