I thought it might be nice to take a break from all the posts about mourning, grieving and healing and take some time to write about what I do. I am a Kindergarten teacher. I think I said before that I started teaching preschool when I was 19 years old. That was 22 years ago. Shut the front door. TWENTY TWO years ago. Holy cow when did I get so old? Anyway, Ever since I was a young girl I have always loved kids. I started babysitting when I was 13 years old. I loved it. I loved the responsibility of it, the feeling of independence I had when the parents left me alone and most of all I loved the kids. I would call my parents from the house I was at to tell them funny things that the kids had done, I would relay stories that of course were never nearly as funny told the second time, but to me they were hysterical and darling.
When I first started teaching I always had a favorite. Yes, I totally played favorites and it was obvious. I would become friends with my "favorites" parents and babysit the kids and spend time with them outside of school. I know, totally not okay, but I couldn't help it. The funny thing is those kids are now 19 to 25 (yes 25) years old now and I remember all of them. I could look at a picture of them and instantly remember everything about them. There are a handful of them over the years that have truly touched my soul and stayed with me forever.
As I have gotten older and had kids of my own I tend to not play favorites as much, I mean yes every once in a while there will be a kid in the 2 and 3 year old room (Tallulah and Vinnie this year) that I will bond with but for the most part I stay pretty neutral. Which is probably a good thing, because this year, I only had 7 kids. Yes you read that right 7 Kindergartners. I couldn't have played favorites if I wanted to, it would have been way to obvious. The good news was that I love each and every one of them so much that I could have not picked a favorite if I was made to. They are the most amazing kids ever. They make me smile laugh and cry all the time, usually I am crying because I am laughing so hard. They all get along so well. There is hardly ever any drama and when there is it's over before you know it. I have been so lucky this year to watch them learn how to read, add, subtract and just be awesome curious, inquisitive kids. The parents are all wonderful, and lets be real if you are a teacher you know that never happens, great kids and great parents all in one year.
Now the year is coming to an end, I only have 2 more days to spend with the 7 of them and that makes me tear up just thinking about it. I tease them every day at circle time that I am calling their new schools and telling them that unfortunately these kids aren't ready for 1st grade and I will have to keep them with me one more year they all laugh and tease me right back knowing that they are getting bigger and no matter how much I beg they are leaving. I am so lucky to have had them and will remember all 7 of them forever (shut up I am totally crying right now as if I am talking about grieving again!). I just hope that they do as all kids say they will do and come visit me. I tell them stories about kids I have had in the past and how I will see them at the grocery store or somewhere now and I am like "Oh Mackenzie, I was your preschool teacher, remember how much you loved me!" meanwhile this 18 year old girl is looking at me like I am nuts! They promise they won't do that, that they will remember me too. We'll see, only time will tell.