The best job description ever!

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Kite flying with my young friends. Photo credit: Miss Susie.

Like every other job, teaching preschool has its own stresses.

We are now four weeks into the new school year, here at Miss Amy’s Child Care.
We have had many changes. We now have two 2-year-old classes. The teacher who used to teach the 3-year-old class is now teaching one of the 2-year-old classes. We have a new teacher for the 3-year-old class. Some children have moved up a class or moved on to Kindergarten! The pecking order has changed and friendships have changed too. Things have been a little crazy at times but now, finally, the kinks seem to have straightened themselves out, and as the leaves start to fall we fall into our routines.

I love my job. What other job has in its job description to love, and one of the perks being to be loved back, unconditionally?

I wipe away tears, kiss boo-boos and have mine kissed in return. I rock a sad little person until he or she is ready to face the day. I receive a timid smile and a tiny hand in mine.
I wipe noses and bottoms and I get to share the trials and triumphs of potty-training.
On some days I eat ten birthday cakes and gain no excess weight! That’s the power of imagination.
From my young friends I get asked the most interesting questions, which truly challenges my own knowledge, and helps me to grow. I always try to answer honestly and sometimes we try to find the answers together. We are amazed and in awe, at all of the wonders of this world.

Did you know that very young children have an incredible ability to pay attention to the very smallest of details? They carry that knowledge around with them until they need it, sometimes not for a very long time. Like little sponges, young children absorb knowledge any way they can. They are masters of this art!
Have you ever really listened to a very young child? They are so wise, so honest, curious and extremely witty, too! Be careful about having sweet nothings whispered into your ear though, no matter how sweet their sentiments may be. Whispering is an art and young children take a long time mastering this, releasing a lot of moisture into your ear canal, as they practice.

I love my job. To love and nurture, and keeping my young charges safe. To reassure, encourage and to watch this amazing transformation from a toddling 22 month old to a child ready for Kindergarten.

How lucky I am!

– Miss Maria, Teacher for one of our two 2-year-old classes.

We Are Family.

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All week I have been thinking about what my blog entry this week would be about. I tried to think of a unique angle or an interesting subject, and until yesterday, Thursday, I still had no idea what the subject was going to be…

All week I watched and took part in the childrens’ trials and triumphs.

Growing up is hard work!

There is so much to discover and so much to learn. There are so many complicated rules to follow and just when they think that they know them all there is a new one to learn! There is so much that the children want to try to do by themselves and so many skills not yet mastered…

Frustration, anger, fear and sadness, as well as the thrill of discovery, of mastery and of growth. These are all emotions bubbling up inside a preschoolers mind.

I watched children solving problems together, completely on their own and children taking turns and helping eachother. I watched as a 4-year-old boy helped his 2-year-old friend put her shoes on for her, without any prompting from a teacher!

There is so much love!!💟

I have dried tears, received hugs and high fives and celebrated someone’s mile stone. I have tried to understand exactly what was bothering a child who was experiencing a huge temper tantrum (as were the rest of us…).

As the week progressed, I tried to spend face time with each and every child. I really tried to pay attention, to really listen and try to understand what is happening to these young children on their journey, passing through here at Miss Amy’s.

The other day, I forgot that the group of 3,5-year-old girls that I was laughing with were in fact not my peers but children in my care (oh how lucky I am!).

Children pay so much attention to adults and to eachother. They want to do good and they want to be helpful. Please give children ‘real’ things to help with. They know if you make up a task just for the sake of finding them something to do!

The first children I had in preschool, many years ago when I was a teacher’s aide, will be finishing their first year of college next month! I think of these, my former students and wonder what they are doing now.

Being a preschool teacher to me is an ongoing job that does not end at the end of my work day or when they graduate from my class! We are family, of sorts, and families are forever.

– Miss Maria.

Play – A Serious Business.

Children play hard, testing their limits and finding new ones. They practice strength and balance, both physical and mental. They practice critical thinking. They try to figure out where they fit into society by role play. They can only fully realize their full potential by being allowed to freely explore, and in play, practice what they learn and try out different scenarios.

– Miss Maria

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“People tend to forget that play is serious.”
– David Hockney, contemporary British painter.

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“A child loves his play not because it’s easy but because it’s hard.”
– Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician.

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“Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.”
– Stuart Brown, M.D., American pediatrician.

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“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.”
– Kay Redfield Jamison, contemporary American professor of psychiatry.

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“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
– Fred Rogers, American television personality.

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“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”
– Diane Ackerman, contemporary American author.

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“Children have always learned and created places for themselves through play.”
– Donna R. Barnes, contemporary American psychologist.

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“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
– O. Fred Donaldson, contemporary American martial arts master.

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“We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream.”
– Robert Coles, contemporary American child psychologist.

Have a great weekend!

– Miss Maria