Friday, March 25, 2011

From the outside looking in

Something truly amazing happened during indoor recess today. Something that made me genuinely smile to myself and reflect.

I was working on cleaning out my desk mailbox. It was overflowing with pictures and letters, and I am bound and determined to keep up my promise of writing back to each student. So, as I was writing little notes back to my students, I look up from my desk to see a group of six girls sitting cross-legged in a circle on the floor. They each have a whiteboard on their lap and are writing with a dry-erase marker. 

Here is the conversation I overheard:
Girl 1 (holding up her whiteboard to the group): "What's wrong with my sentence?"
Girt 2: "You forgot to use a period."
Girl 1: "That's right! You are so smart! I forgot to use a period. Now you all write a sentence on your board."
Girl 3: "Okay, let's pretend I'm not paying attention."
Girl 1: "Don't forget those spaces!"

It soon became obvious that they were playing school -- and very accurately portraying our classroom! I heard phrases being said in my exact intonation, exact imitations of my teaching mannerisms, and adorable reenactments of how I provide positive feedback to my students. It was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen.

I sat back in my chair and simply smiled. There was something sweetly honest and innocent about their game. That was definitely my "feel good" for the week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Student 1: "Mrs. Anderson! She hurt her brain!"

Student 2: "Yeah, I biffed my brain on that yellow bar!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another one

Too cute not to share!

"Dear Mrs. A, I missed you yesterday and the day before. I like when you are here at school. I am glad you are feeling better."

Glad to be back!

After two days out of school with strep throat (hmm... I wonder where I got that?!) I was so glad to get back to work yesterday. The kids were so sweet and so excited to have me back -- and of course, they had to tell me everything that happened while I was gone. But, one of my favorite parts about yesterday was sifting through my mailbox to find letters from my students while I was away. This was my favorite:

"Dear Mrs. A, I hope that you are better tomorrow. I miss you."

It's hard for me to pin-point why I love teaching kindergarten so much. Everything about kindergarten is wonderful. I will never tire of the endless letters and pictures because they materialize our special relationship. 

Their words just tug at my heartstrings every time I read their letters. Needless the say, this letter definitely helped me feel welcome back at school.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Do you have a card?

I recently attended a young professionals happy hour with a fellow kindergarten teacher. She recently moved to Omaha and became involved in an organization called "All About Omaha." Being fairly new to Omaha myself, this was great opportunity for me to network and meet some new people. 

I went and met some nice people. Had some nice conversation. Enjoyed some time with my friend. Pretty average night.

However, one part of my night really made me ponder. Several times throughout the night, I was asked the same question - "Do you have a card?" At first, I was quite confused. A card? Like a credit card? Once they extended their crisp, neatly printed card, I realized what we were talking about. Oh, a business card. Well, no.
I've never been asked for my "card" before. Then again, I've never been to a young professionals happy hour before. I consider myself young... I consider myself a professional. How come I stick out so much in this group?

This predicament really got me thinking about how teachers are not necessarily regarded as professionals. Why? We all have college degrees. In fact, the majority of us have further degrees. We attend meetings. We have conferences. We exceed our 40 hours on a weekly basis. Why is it that teachers are not viewed in a more professional manner?

I started to discover that the reasons why we might not be regarded as professionals are exactly the reasons why I love what I do. We do our job with enthusiasm and passion. We laugh and smile everyday. We play at work. We do not wear a three-piece suit, but something much more conducive to sitting on the carpet. Instead of churning out papers, we churn out memories, smiles, and children at their very best.

So, they can keep their fancy business cards. They may be more "professional," but I know that they will never feel the way I do when I leave work everyday.