Nap Time Thoughts of A Preschool Teacher

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Nap time. One of my favorite parts of the day in school right now. A lot of random thoughts usually run in my mind during this time as I watch my students sleep beside each other,

I wonder how many of them will actually meet again maybe 15-20 years after their kindergarten days and fall in love with each other? What are the odds? Probabilities?

I wonder if they will ever remember that they once slept beside each other during nap time in preschool before. Will they ever remember that they once shared a spoon of ice cream just because the little boy still wants some ice cream and the little girl was kind enough to give him a spoonful of it? Will the little boy remember that he once grabbed the toy truck from the little girl just because he thinks trucks are just for boys? Will the little girl remember that she once cried so loud because of that little boy or will she just remember how she laughed at the funny antics of the little boy when they were playing with the wooden blocks at the construction corner? Will both of them remember how they made a good team trying to build a tower with those blocks and not letting their other classmates join in on the fun just because that moment was exclusively theirs?

How many of these kids will have their hearts broken before they even reach their puberty stage? The kind of heart ache that seemed just a tiny piece of wound but could actually give so much effect in his/her growing up years? The kind of wound that you thought you have forgotten already but could actually haunt you and make you remember that pain once you meet someone again and try your chance on falling in love again. I wonder who among them will end up best friends for life? Or who will end up as “just friends” just because they tried it but they realized they are better off as friends?

I have more than a dozen young, innocent souls in my classroom of happiness now. Each of them has a distinct personality that makes them different from one another. Each is special in his/her own way. Each of them amuses me in their own lovely way. Sometimes while waiting for them to close their eyes and fall asleep during nap time, I just can’t help but imagine how the romance part of their lives will turn out to be. Who will fall in love with who? Who will have his/her heartbroken by who? Who will end up getting married to each other? Will there be someone from that class who would actually try to look for his/her classmate after so many years just to let him/her know that he/she once a had a huge crush on him/her? Will there be someone who will be bold enough to confess his/her feelings?

Maybe I am just a plain hopeless romantic that even at those down times when I can just rest my body from half a day of extensive work in school and prepare myself for the next half to cap off the day, I just can’t hold off my mind from thinking about those random stuff.

Or perhaps, deep inside my heart, I just want all of them to experience the kind of wonderful love they all deserve. Because they all deserve to be loved in a special way. No matter how they piss me off sometimes with their rowdiness, I have to admit that I’ve grown so fond of each and everyone of them. And yes, I do love them. I love the fact that I am their teacher and they think of me as their mommy in school. And like a real mommy, I want them to find the love they all deserve in the future. If only I can shield them from heartbreak by teaching them about the Dos and Don’ts of falling in love, but even me myself is still a student of that lesson. I am still learning. I haven’t mastered that yet, and perhaps I never will. I just hope that no matter how many heartbreaks they will experience or how deep the pain they would experience in the future, my little angels will still continue believing in love and that they will not lose hope that they can also find and experience true love. I hope that when they get their hearts broken, they will remember how they were in Kindergarten — cry so loud and then move on like as if nothing happened. I hope they will not dwell too much on the pain but instead, use those pains to become a better person in life and in love.

If only I can tell these to them. But I’d rather not spoil the mystery of life and love to them. I will let them discover on their own how wonderful it is to live, to find love, to fall in love, to lose it and find it again. Anyway, they are still too young to fathom the complexities of it all. For the meantime, I will just let them play and enjoy the simplicity of life in their little perfect world.

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Usapang Bata # 68-69

Isang super busy na araw sa school, ang mga bagets feeling foundation day lang. Super hyper sa paglalaro. At syempre, may isang namumukod tanging leader sa group–none other than the second youngest child in the class, Janel. Feeling ni Janel, hindi lang Foundation Day, Teacher’s Day pa na tipong kailangan ng student mentors. Lahat ng ways ng teachers, gayang-gaya nya:

Teacher A. : Okay kids, pack away na!

Janel: Everyone, pack away na!

Teacher L.: Janel, kasama ka sa magppack-away ha hindi lang classmates mo ha.

 

2nd Scene

While playing ball catching, natamaan ni Yohann ang ball na hawak ni Janel:

Janel: Ay Yohann, that’s bad ha. Come here.

(At dinala ni Janel si Yohann sa “face the wall” corner)

Teacher A: Janel, no ha. Si teacher lang ang magpapa-face the wall ha. Come here Yohann.

Janel: (habang hawak-hawak si Yohann papunta kay teacher) Oh di ba Yohann si teacher lang apapa-face the wall, akikinig ka lang sa kin ha.

 

Asus! Pambihira talaga ang leadership ni Janel!

 

 

This Is Not Work. This Is A GIFT.

If there’s one thing I don’t think I can get used to now that I’m already a preschool teacher, it’s that emotional and melodramatic feeling during Moving Up Day. I am a self-confessed drama queen when it comes to goodbyes.

This year’s Moving Up Day was even more emotional for me. I didn’t only bid goodbye to the kids who are moving on to big school, but I also bid goodbye to everyone else at Escuela Legarda–the babies, the teachers, the helper, the parents. The last day of school was also my last day at EL. I am moving on to another school–a decision which was more than difficult to make, but I believe this is for the completion of my dreams and plans.

I didn’t actually cry during the Moving Up Day. I was too busy running around and fixing the kids’ costumes that I didn’t have much time to emote and cry. It was the day after MUD that I cried real hard while browsing the photos of the kids in the school’s page. I’m missing them terribly. Each and everyone of them. Each of them left a remarkable mark in my heart.

I’m missing all the kakulitans, the running to and fro inside the classroom, the young bullies, the shocked looks whenever I call them to work, the funny questions, the resident face the wall kid, the excited looks and smiles, their silly fights over toys, the almost everyday poo-poo-ing in school, the “oh Teacher Apple, I burst out some gas” notice, the chaotic birthday parties, the lining up by the wall to wash hands and always there are kids who just want to get ahead.

I’m missing their tiny little hands which I love to hold and lock with mine. I’m missing their sweet smiles and greetings whenever they open the door and walks inside the room. I miss seeing how they pack away the toys, their bags, etc. I miss seeing how they try to put on their socks and shoes independently. I’m missing the sweetest hugs and kisses I could get every time they’re on the mood to give some loving:-)

These kids were my comfort pill. They never fail to put me in a good mood. They’re definitely my Little Mr. and Ms. Sunshines:-) My students thought me how to appreciate life in the simplest ways: a genuine smile and a heartfelt laugh.

And yes, I’m missing the parents’ barkada, too:-) Escuela Legarda has a really nice, appreciative, generous, and sweet batch of parents. I love that they’re even super friends with each other and even call their group “the hungry birds.”

I am even more blessed to have my first shot in preschool teaching at Escuela Legarda. I’ve learned a good deal about teaching and discipline in this school. And hey, I even discovered my ‘creative’ side there:-) I will forever be grateful to Teacher Beia for believing that I could do the works and entrusting me with the kids despite my lack of experience and academic knowledge in handling children.   She’s way younger than me but I actually consider her as my mentor when it comes to preschool teaching.

Teaching opened my heart and mind to a lot of wonderful things and possibilities in this world. It made me realize that:

  • Money is never an issue when you love what you’re doing.
  • It is easy to make a child happy.
  • Everything you say to a child will leave a mark in his/her heart and mind
  • Playing and talking is necessary. It is even better if the classroom is noisy because it means the kids are engaging and socializing.
  • Each child has his/her own ways and phases of learning. We should not feel upset when one child learns a little slowly than the other.
  • A child with autism may be different but that doesn’t make him/her less of a person.
  • The teachers are not only the source of knowledge in the classroom. The students are, too.
  • There’s no need to spank a child when he/she’s done something wrong. A sincere and heartfelt talk will do. And ‘face the wall’ as well:-)
  • That you don’t need to be the mommy of a child or a relative to genuinely care for him/her.
  • There are a lot of cookies and biscuits and other possible ‘baons’ for the kids in the market. Mommies just need to be a little creative:-)
  • Be nice and sincere to parents and they will be nice and sincere to you, too. They appreciate even the littlest thing you do for their child.

I might have done something good in my life to deserve a really happy and satisfying job as this. Being a teacher is one of God’s greatest blessings in my life and I’ll forever be grateful for that. I’m blessed that I don’t need to slave myself out to work or keep searching for day to day mood pick-uppers to fight work stress because I definitely love what I’m doing. It doesn’t actually seem like work at all. This is God’s gift that I get to enjoy and earn from:-)

I left Escuela Legarda bringing with me a good bagful of happy memories I will surely keep in my heart forever:-)  Thank you for the wonderful, fun-filled two years of my life:-)

Photo credits: Teacher Che, Daddy Nemi, and I Love Pix photobooth:-)

How A Preschool Moving Up Day Made Me Cry…

If my memory serves me right, the last time I cried on a graduation day was during my high school graduation. Back then, I cried as a young teenybopper who was so attached to her high school friends and to her school and a bit afraid of what the new journey in college will bring her life. I cried over Madonna’s song ‘I Remember’ since that song really spoke of how I felt during that last day of my high school life.

More than a decade after that emotional scene from my high school graduation, I found myself dewy-eyed again ’cause of a school’s culmination activity. This time, the role that I played was way different from the one I portrayed ten years back. From being just the one waiting for her name to be called to go up the stage, I was now the one giving the certificate to the students. I’m now the teacher.

Being someone who’s easily attached to people and things, our school’s Moving Up Day was something I was looking forward to and dreading at the same time. I was excited about it because it’s a brand new experience for me, but I dreaded it since it meant bidding farewell to the kids, especially those who are already going to big schools.

And the inevitable separation happened this morning.

At first, the teachers were cool about the event. We were even laughing while decorating the venue. Then the kids arrived with their parents, and few moments after, the program started.

During the speech of the school’s directress, when she expressed her gratefulness to the parents, especially the sweet mommies who’ve been so helpful, so nice, and so thoughtful to us, I could already feel my tears wanting to fall down. Thankfully, I was able to hold it back.

Then the sweet mommies asked us to stay on the stage because they’ve prepared a small presentation for us. Thereupon, the kids formed a line holding three pieces of roses each. One by one–wait make that all of them–went up the stage and gave the teachers the roses, gave us a sweet hug, and said ‘thank you.’  That was the sweetest and the most rewarding  scene I’ve ever experienced in my 7 years of working professionally.

After few picture taking, I went down the stage. Cole and his mom came to me and asked to take a picture with me. I hugged Cole because I’ll surely going to miss him since he’s one of the sweetest kids in class. Mommy Jane (his mom) then told me that Cole was crying last night because it finally dawned on him that he’s not going to Escuela Legarda anymore next school year. And I could no longer forbear my tears. I hugged Cole once more, this time, it was tighter and I told him I’m really going to miss him.

I’m being so emotional, I know. I’m a teacher so I should get used to this kind of scenarios since every year, we’ll have Moving Up Day and we’ll say goodbye to different sets of kids. But still…This whole thing was just so heart-melting and I never thought that parents could really appreciate teachers like the way these parents did.

Now I know what’s the toughest part of being a preschool teacher is. It’s not about teaching them the basics and really starting from scratch, not even changing diapers or washing them after they made poo-poo. It’s saying goodbye to little angels who’ve been my babies for the last 10 months of my life.

I’m not sure if these kids will ever remember us when they go to big school, especially if they’ll grow accustomed to it already. I hope they will, though. But I will certainly keep them in my heart for as long as live. I know for sure that at any random day, I would be checking on my old albums of the school and relive the precious moments spent with these little angels through those photos.