10. The hugs- constantly and at random times- when we go out to recess, at the end of the day, for no apparent reason, and when I am trying to do a reading group.
9. The stories they just have to share- constantly and at random times- anytime, anywhere, and about anything, when we raise our hand to answer a specific question, on the way out to recess, during a fire drill, and of course, during reading groups.
8. Shoe-tying- constantly and at random times- in the middle of a lesson, a hundred times at recess, walking in line somewhere, and when I am trying to do a reading group.
7. The pictures they draw and have to give me-constantly and at random times. Even when they are not finished... "Mrs. H, I made this for you. It's not done. In fact, I only drew one line on it. But it's for you. It's going to be a house. It's for you. Do you like it? It is pretty?" Did I mention he tried to give it to me when I was doing a reading group???
6. Bathroom issues- constantly and at random times... The girl I need to remind to go potty every hour, the boy who can't get his belt off because his dad put it on too tight, the boy who comes out of the bathroom naked from the waist down just because, the girl who comes out of the bathroom announcing that someone forgot to flush the toilet, the boy who pees on the playground because that's what they do at home, the flood of the bathroom because someone dropped something down the toilet, the random bathroom smells that waft through the room and cause you to say things like, "Does someone need to go potty?" or "Does someone need go to the nurse to change?"
5. The constant need for positive attention once you give a compliment to someone else. "Brett, you used so many details in your picture. I love it." A brief pause and then 10 other voices, "Mrs. H, do you like mine? It is pretty?"
4. The enthusiasm they have for everything- from learning about apples, spiders, bats, sea animals, capital letters, rhyming words, writing sentences, counting to 100, adding and subtracting. Everything is new- everything is amazing and they are experts at it all and will tell you constantly and at random times.
3. Carpet time- whether reading a story, talking about our day, or doing shared writing, there is never a dull moment at carpet time. The majority of students are great at it eventually and are focused on the task. However, there are always those that aren't. There are those few with their fingers up their noses completely oblivious to everyone else. There are a few completely engrossed in their shoelaces, untying them, chewing on them- whatever. On occasion there are those with their hands down their pants- front or back- doing who knows what. There are those that play with their own hair, or a neighbor's hair. Those that rock back and forth, those that can't sit with pretzel legs.... it's a wonder any learning happens at carpet time.
2. The blank slate of the kindergartener... It seems we kindergarten teachers have to teach them everything- from how to walk in a line, to how to hold a pencil, cut with scissors, share a game, listen to each other, write their name, listen to a story... this list goes on and on...not to mention the academic things we teach them. However, there are also times that we have to tell them things that we assume they already know... for example, just yesterday I had to say, "Sean, we don't lick the fence."
1. The unconditional love they have for their teacher. Yesterday was the end of our Teacher Appreciation Week. Each day had a theme and yesterday was "Bring a Sweet Treat to Your Teacher". Students were unpacking in the morning and some had treats for me- bags of candy, a few homemade cookies etc... One of my kinders comes to me with this Ziploc bag and says, "Mrs. H, this is for you."
It's a bag of crushed Fudge Stripe cookies. I am pretty sure it was his afternoon snack. That one small token says a lot about why people love teaching Kindergarten.
I will miss these little people. But I am ready for a new adventure back in the land of 3rd graders.