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. ❤