“Things One Says Teaching Preschool vs. Basically Any Other Job”

kinopoisk.ru-Kindergarten-Cop-884206.jpgDear Friends,

It’s been way too long since I’ve written; and I’ve missed it! As you can imagine, I’ve been out of my mind (more-so than usual) with a major career change AND a new part time waitressing gig. The preceding 6 months I offer no excuse for. I’m lazy. Any-who…I’m nearly a month into the new job and they haven’t fired me…yet. I’d like to say it’s for lack of incident, but truth be told, in preschool there’s an incident approximately every 30 seconds. On the long beautiful ride home each night, I reflect on the day and think about how I’ve said things over the course of the day that, while contextually normal, would sound insane if used in any one of my former positions.

1. Please take your finger out of your nose & go wash your hands.

Have there been people I’ve wanted to say this to at former jobs? Of course. Have I watched in disgust as I waited for the perpetrator to wipe the booger some place, only to see them eat it…or worse…flick it? Yes there have. Saying this to an adult, however, would be offensive. Kids? They don’t mind. They expect it. They’ll stare at you knowingly, 2 knuckles in, and take zero offense when corrected.

2. We don’t kill spiders.

Anyone I’ve ever worked with in the past, my best friends, my worst enemies, and my children all know this is a bold faced lie! LIE! LIE! LIE! The words came out of my mouth so naturally that even I was shocked. However, teaching children the value of ALL life (unfortunately) includes spiders. I’ve come so far in this realm that I’m even able to shut down my fear (aka black out) long enough to PICK UP A SPIDER and release it outside the classroom. Of course this is followed by a closet “EW EW EW HEEBIE JEEBIE” dance and copious amounts of hand sanitizer.

3. Please take your finger out of your nose & go wash your hands.

There’s more than one student in our class.

4. Yes, you have a penis! That’s great! Now please pull your pants up and wash your hands.

No, no, Donald Trump hasn’t visited the class. There’s a bathroom attached to our classroom, for obvious reasons. While slightly off-putting, it’s not unusual for a little person to appear in the doorway, pants around their ankles, proudly proclaiming self-awareness. I believe at one particular company Christmas party, He Who Shall Remain Nameless had a little too much eggnog, and publicly displayed his nether regions. While I don’t recall it being such cause for celebration, nor do I remember him being asked to wash his hands, I DO seem to still hear the Mrs. demanding he pull his pants back up. And put down the bottle. And get in the car. Immediately.

5. Please take your finger out of your nose & go wash your hands.

Okay, there’s 15 of them.

6. We don’t pee outside…at school!

Thus far, I’ve only had to use this one once. It was today. In 30 degree weather. At pick-up time. With parents and children passing by. I rushed across the play yard as I noticed an airborne stream shooting from a young lad with his back to me. I tried simultaneously to not frighten the boy (and risk getting shot in the eye) and put a stop to the public urination. I’ve gotta give the kid bonus points for not getting any on him – it couldn’t have been easy with that bulky winter coat and knitted toque askew on his head. As I realized one cannot stop a pee once it’s started, I decided to give up on that; and instead, to focus on at least getting his hands washed. “My hands are clean!” he exclaimed proudly while holding up two little mitten-clad hands. Forehead smack.

No worries, folks, your kids are in good, clean, booger and urine free hands.

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