Teaching Kindergarten seems like an easy job to some. Playing, singing, learning to read, count and draw. Not much to it. I, too, believed that teaching Kindergarten was an easy job. That was until I visited my daughter’s classroom one day to observe my child.
While I was in the class, I observed much more than just my own child. I took time to observe the whole classroom. I realized that day that Kindergarten teachers teach the toughest age group.
Gas. During my short stay, on four separate occasions, I endured the brew that was some child’s fart. One of which was probably my own kid’s. I know how much my own kid farts on some days and what it smells like. With a room full of 22 or more 4 and 5 year olds with no sense of shame or boundaries regarding bodily emissions, the classroom is no where near big enough or ventilated enough.
Underwear fouling. Kids at this age often hold their bladders beyond their limit because they don’t want to stop playing. Furthermore, no Kindergardener is a good ass-wiper. Not. One. Their little arms can hardly reach around their back, if at all. Not to mention they either wipe once which isn’t enough, or too much and clog the toilet.
Whining and crying. I love my daughter insanely and unconditionally and I can hardly handle the whining on bad days. Love barely gets me through the tough days, so I can’t imagine how far a Kindergarten teacher’s patience is stretched without unconditional love.
Defiance. When my kids don’t listen or behave, things can get ugly around the house. Time-outs, early bed times, toys taken away, no friends etc. When kids are defiant at school, teacher’s options are limited and threatening is not generally a well-accepted form of behavior management at school.
Noise. On top of the whining and crying, kids are yelling, making strange noises, and clanging, dumping and throwing toys. I can only handle so many noises at a time before I can’t take it anymore. When one kid is talking to me, the baby is crying, the oven fan is on and the T.V. volume is up, I can’t handle it. Even during quiet time, there’s a kid or two who can barely keep themselves together until they can let loose again.
Teaching. We hired a tutor for our son when he was younger because my husband and I weren’t able to teach him without losing our patience. Trying to teach anything to someone is a difficult task when they can’t retain it or don’t understand no matter how many ways you try to explain it. Teachers are responsible for finding ways to teach to all kids who have all different styles of learning. It’s no easy feat.
That one kid. Often times, there’s that one kid in class who is awful. Maybe they hit or spit or pee in the plants. Maybe they don’t listen no matter how many times they’re asked. Whatever the case, there’s always one.
Kindergarten is a fun age, but it’s not without its challenges. Teaching is challenging for different reasons at different grades, but a Kindergarten teachers definitely have unique challenges that can’t be beat.
So to all those Kindergarten teachers out there – thanks for all you do.