My Babies Then and Now

Sometimes I lay away at night and I think about my kiddos, about how small they were when they came to me and how big they are now.

I think about how some of them sobbed every day for weeks when they started preschool last year, and how I would hold them for 20 minutes at a time, rocking them back and forth saying, “I know it is hard to be away from mommy, but it is okay to be sad and you’ll feel better in a little while. Our grown ups always come back.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I know it’s hard when our grown ups leave us, and I know that you feel sad right now, but I’m happy you came to see me today.”

Those same kids, then barely three, now greet me every morning with sweet, ready smiles and so many stories about siblings and socks and things important to four-going-on-five year olds that it boggles the mind. They are excited to come to school and find out our lessons for the day, to play with friends and do their best.

And even though they don’t often need that same kind of comfort they once did, I still spend much of my day with a child in my lap or holding my hand who wants so badly to be read to or hugged or to tell me about what they’ll do that day when they get home.

I think about my kiddos, the ones who I used to call babies, and I sometimes can’t help but cry because I am so thankful. Yes, teaching can be really hard for a lot of reasons, but the child-like love they share with me? I do not deserve any of this. God is so good to me.

Two years I have spent with them, and I feel like they are part of me. Getting hurt and working on recovery (long story) has shifted my perspective about some things, but this? Hasn’t changed. If anything, I’m even more grateful that God let me be part of their lives.

I’m going to lose these babies come May. And I’m so incredibly happy, sad, and proud. ❤

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Herding Cats Up a Tree — It isn’t about you.

I needed this blog today.

Today, it seemed like things just wouldn’t stay together, despite the fact that almost every day over the past week and a half was a 10-12 hour shift AND I prepared almost everything I possibly could in advance of this week’s lessons…

I saw a picture on Facebook (from the page Bored Teachers) that spoke to me, so I’ll share it in hopes that it speaks to you, too.

And it’s true! Some days are just going to be those days, and it doesn’t matter what you do because you can’t help it. It isn’t about you.

I also don’t think it’s about the moon in retrograde (???) or Friday the 13th or anything else to which teachers often attribute chaos. (Though, the longer I’m a teacher, the more absolutely real the full moon thing gets. HALP.)

No. There will still be parents who blame their children’s temper tantrums at home on the book you read last week (um, no) or think you’re too harsh on their babies when you don’t give the class its “good choices” stickers, there will still be days that the kiddos struggle to make good choices and act like—wait for it!!–utter children, there will still be days that are just too loud, but in the end…

This is not about you.

And aside from the blame game, fellows, you should also know that none of this job, honestly, is ever about you.

Everything you do is about the kids and what they need. You cannot be a soothsayer predicting and avoiding every major/minor upheaval. And why should you, because then what would they learn? You cannot be perfect. You cannot work miracles and make everyone happy.

What my babies needed today was a calm, steady, CONSISTENT rock in their clamorous sea. Consistent means holding to your expectations and meeting your students with both consequence and grace…

…regardless of what anyone else might think.

You need to remember that, even when you’re doing you best, these days will come.

So, maybe today isn’t one for the album. Oh well. Search back into your mental stores and find one that is. Because you’ve had um, teacher. You’ve had plenty of them. The days when they laughed, loved without reserved, learned a life-changing lesson…

But even those days, teacher, are not about you.


Here’s to loving your kids, retaining your sanity, and finding the joy in little moments. Don’t be afraid to be quirky; you’re among friends! This is Preschool Prattle. I hope you found something meaningful today. ❤️

Our School of Fish in PreK-4

Well, hi, fellow educators. I would apologize for my lack of updates, but we all know how busy things can be! The amount of totally crazy I’m going may leave a bit to be desired, but having just completed the first week of school (three days only, to be fair), I can say with certainty that big things are coming over the next two semesters.

I had previously taught preschool (3 year olds), but this year, the school decided to move me up a grade level with my kiddos, so PreK (four year olds), here we come! Bigger classes! More chaos! More hugs and high fives and snuggles and stories at one time! The difference between the ages is astounding, and a lot of readjustment must occur for this teacher, but I’m so~~ glad I get to continue this journey with my babies for another year, and to get another shot at teaching PreK, the level wherein a first tiptoed into the waters of Early Childhood Education. ❤️

I’m implementing several new ideas over the next few months, and so I may again begin posting here regarding my successes and failures. (But hey, if your kids are happy, healthy, kind, and learning something, I honestly don’t think day to day craziness constitutes a failure. Gotta remind myself, though. 😉) I hope to encourage you (and myself!) with positive words of support and affirmation, because, after all, teaching can be a hard, demanding, frustrating job! But don’t forget how much love you get to share and receive every day, because that’s truly a blessing in a sea of craft materials too deep through which to wade. 😛 You are doing something that not everyone can do. Remember that God choose you to foster and support his little people. You are so. incredibly. blessed.

Speaking of the sea, I’ve done up an ocean theme this year, and the kiddos made jellyfish to decorate our room! They’re too adorable, and it was an easy, frustration-free activity for the kids to begin the year with. (Children paint, adults assemble.)

We’ll be upping our game as we move along, but I wanted to take a moment to share this success with you: the first week is done, I survived, and I may not have gotten to eat lunch most days, but I subsisted off of hugs and cuddles enough that I didn’t even miss it.

And things will calm down.

Eventually.


Here’s to loving your kids, retaining your sanity, and finding the joy in little moments. Don’t be afraid to be quirky; you’re among friends! This is Preschool Prattle. I hope you found something meaningful today. ❤️

Preschool 3 General “Hostipal”

Welcome to Preschool 3 General Hospital (or, as the children often say, “Hostipal”)! Staffed by 27 tiny doctors and nurses, our care is renowned throughout the upper elementary. Patients travel from the school’s every toy closet, including esteemed celebrities Mr. Big Bear and Hamtaro (“Hammy”) Hamster. Yes, we strive for excellence here at Preschool General. With the latest imaging technology at our disposal, our up-and-coming doctors can even take pictures of your BONES!

If you find yourself in need of outpatient care, our urgent facilities are at the ready. Book your next procedure with Preschool General, and you’ll be glad you did.

…♡…

Today, I found joy in many small things.

My students fashioned themselves the staff of our new hospital, and our post office set up went the way of the dodo. They took to the change enthusiastically, and the dramatic play setting works brilliantly as we discuss health, wellness, healing, and (private school!) Jesus, our Great Physician.

We’ve been learning the letter W at table time, and I’m so far impressed by the tiny humans’ retention. I was also pleasantly surprised by a few children who today knew how to spell their name when I thought we had a ways to go. (Funny how they just jump into things one day, no?) Not one child had occasion to cry; not one threw a fit.

All in all, today went exceptionally well, and I wanted to share that with you.

It’s important to share successes as well as failures, even if my own style of writing lends itself to advice in the face of one over another. On the days that seem hardest, I look to days like today as something of a lifeline.

We’re all going to have good days and bad, but these are the ones of which I recommend you take lots of pictures. Reflect on them when you’re in a slump, or dealing with a difficult child, or when you feel a bit hopeless. Remember that you’re not as bad of a teacher as you may feel in your darkest moments. (If you haven’t had such a moment, keep teaching. It’s coming, inevitably.)

In fact, your a pretty darn good educator, if you do say so yourself. Think of all they’ve managed to learn at their own pace. Think of all those new experiences and hard-won smiles. Think of all the time you’ve spent, the energy you’ve expended, the love you’ve shown.

Don’t reflect on what wasn’t perfect, but rather on what made the imperfect beautiful.

In my own life, I look to our Great Physician to shore up my spirit and make me whole. Today, I got to share that experience with my tiny charges, as well as educate them on the finer points of (extremely general) doctoral care. It will be a day remembered fondly in our preschool album for sure.

And I will use these memories as a means of grace when I run just a tad short on my teacher self-love. Take care of yourself, everyone.


Here’s to loving your kids, retaining your sanity, and finding the joy in little moments. Don’t be afraid to be quirky; you’re among friends! This is Preschool Prattle. I hope you found something meaningful today. ❤️

Mayhem and Meltdowns at the Buzzer

We had a few meltdowns today. By meltdowns, I mean:

  • a decent-sized tantrum over who got to sit in which chair at snack time,
  • a parent peaking in the classroom 15 minutes before the bell (which resulted in lots of tears, an “I WANT TO GO WITH MOMMY NOW!” and an open ending to our activity time craft project for which I spent forever prepping), and
  • a brief but red-faced screaming fit when asked simply, “Did you hit your friend?”

And those are just the big ones.

I’d call it a successful day, but don’t we all just feel like having a meltdown sometimes, too? Especially on a Monday, when perhaps it didn’t seem like the weekend lasted quite long enough, and everything goes “wrong” right at the buzzer?

Perhaps lesson planning/school obligations took up most of your free time this weekend, and trying to organize your home life took the rest.

Perhaps you’re already exhausted from various family functions and wondering how you’ll handle their bless’ed exuberance for the rest of the week. (Because you love them without reservation, but MAN ALIVE, 10 three-year-olds at a time are quite the handful for a teacher with no aid.)

It’s life, teacher. It’s messy and glorious and makes you crave your own major meltdown from time to time. So what do you do?

I’ll tell you what I do; I breathe. I take in some much needed air and embrace the chaos. I stay calm in a sea of tantrums, tears, and big feelings for which little people don’t yet have names because THAT’S what I’m here for; yeah, I’m teaching letters/numbers/shapes/colors (etc.), but I’m also teaching calm. I’m teaching grounded. I’m teaching “It’s okay to have big feelings, but let’s figure out what we need to do to express and handle them.” I’m teaching, “This is how I manage it when things go wrong.”

And sometimes, when I look back from the end of the day, modeling that feels better than if everything had gone smoothly, I think.

Because how often does life go smoothly?(^_−)−☆

Teachers, often underpaid and under-resourced, are charged with guiding their charges into the people they’re meant to be. It’s a huge privilege and enormous responsibility, whether your students are eight or eighteen! Growth happens at every age, and you, teacher, are blessed to be part and parcel in the process. It necessitates we do some (read: a lot of) learning of our own.

In my case, I don’t think that anyone expects a classroom full of children barely passed toddlerhood to operate like a well-oiled machine, but it’s something that has taken me these two years to understand (and even now I’m learning). As an early childhood educator, you’re going to have to learn that you can’t take the blame when a preschooler decides to have an unexpected meltdown in the middle of activity time. You’re going to have to learn that no one is judging you when a student walks out crying because they didn’t get the good choice sticker that they wanted.

No one who has a preschooler and a lick of common sense is judging you.

Instead, take each moment as it comes, model calm (even if it means stepping back and giving them a few minutes of impromptu play while you collect yourself), and keep loving them unconditionally.

I’ll say it again; that’s why you’re here.


Here’s to loving your kids, retaining your sanity, and finding the joy in little moments. Don’t be afraid to be quirky; you’re among friends! This is Preschool Prattle. I hope you found something meaningful today. 

The Veiled Led Zepplin Reference…

You know it’s been a good day when the teacher ends up with shaving cream in her hair.

Wait, let me rephrase that; you know it’s been a good day when the children are laughing at the amount of goopy mess they’ve managed to create in fifteen minutes, you’ve only had to change two students’ shirts in the course of this sensory experience, and no one cried today. At all.

Okay, well maybe a few kids. Once or twice.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that, as a preschool teacher, you do a lot of looking on the bright side, because a lot of what you meticulously plan isn’t going to GO to plan. And that’s okay. We take each moment as it comes, whether those moments mean laughing right along with our charges as we use shaving cream to trace letter T OR wiping up buckets said cream from the tables, chairs, and bathroom fixtures.

Or finding out that shaving cream strips paint from your tables.

We just do.

At the end of the day, are your students happy? Are they healthy? Are they learning something? Good. Then keep on keeping on, teacher.

Take a deep breath at the end of the day. It may not always feel like it, but you done good.


Here’s to loving your kids, retaining your sanity, and finding the joy in little moments. Don’t be afraid to be quirky; you’re among friends! This is Preschool Prattle. I hope you found something meaningful today. ❤