Monday, May 22, 2017

Planting the Seeds

Last Thursday, I bid an emotional farewell to my kinders. I love this group. I love every group that walks through my door but this group and I...we just get each other. Fun loving and humorous, they think I'm hilarious. They're my own miniature-sized fan club. Who doesn't enjoy that? 

You would think I would savor those last few weeks of school with my kinders but I am not at my best in May. Our end of the year program, kinder graduation, assessments and report cards stress me out and I develop into this overbearing stage mom. "Places everyone!" 

Amazingly, those kiddos love me anyway. Mind you, one of my more outspoken boys boldly called me a meanie a few times and boy with the face of an angel commented to the girl next to him, "Well, she's a little grumpy!" The girl gleefully tattled to me but instead of reprimanding the boy as she desired, I angled an exaggerated stink eye at him and in my best Sam Elliot voice drawled, "You talkin' ugly 'bout me boy?" All the kinders laughed and I joined in, disrupting class completely. See, they get me and even when I'm grumpy they know I love them. 

The intensity of May is increased by the taunts of my biggest critic whispering in my ear that I haven't done my job well enough. Who is this mean girl? Myself! "What," I wonder, "if I didn't teach the kinders everything they need to be successful in first grade?" 

Those words send me into a tizzy reviewing everything possible. Kinders on a good day have a fifteen-minute attention span at a time. May routine busters like program practice and end of year celebrations make five minutes of on-task behavior difficult. Frenziedly reviewing concepts isn't as effective in May. It's like my dad used to tell me when I was in college and I would cram a few hours before a test. "If you don't have it by now," he said, "cramming isn't going to do you any good." It's true. 

When the last kinder walked out the door Thursday and I could think rationally, I reminded myself that I have spent nine months planting the seeds of knowledge that will hopefully blossom in the fall of first grade. I'm so thankful I got to witness their metamorphosis as learners this year. They have touched my life and I will never forget them.