Things I’ve Learned as a Preschool Teacher

Paralegal. Freelance Writer. Nanny. Receptionist. Preschool Teacher.

All of these jobs I have had since I graduated from college, none of which I ever thought I would do. While at times I struggle with the idea that I will never possibly use my Art History degree, I have gained valuable experiences and life lessons throughout our somewhat vagabond existence. Each job, while some I merely was there to make coffee, helped me discover how I want to contribute back to society. There is no doubt in my mind that being a preschool teacher, while exhausting, is the most rewarding job I have had to date. Now in a typical blog fashion, here’s a short list of what I’ve learned so far.

  1. Teachers work really, really hard. Oh man, I never even realized. The prep, set up, searching for different techniques and methods, etc. I am constantly adjusting my teaching style while learning how each of my students respond to specific activities and learning methods. I just didn’t comprehend how much work is done outside of school hours until I had to get it all done. While each age and grade is different, you quickly learn how to adapt. The best part about preschool work? No grading! 🙂
  2. Coffee keeps me alive. I didn’t drink coffee in college (I still don’t know how that happened), but now I can’t function without it. One cup, two cup, red cup, blue cup. Give it to me in an IV. I even started drinking it black – am I a true adult now? When you are in charge with a bunch of kiddos, it’s vital to be alert and functioning. God Bless you, whoever invented coffee.
  3. You’re constantly on the go. I’m never sitting still, and I’m never bored. Ever. There’s always a task to complete, a student to help, or something to clean (let’s be real – there’s always something to clean up), but I am absolutely loving not sitting at a desk for 8 hours. I’ve realized that desk jobs are not for me (get bored, can’t sit still, loss of creativity, etc), which I think has been a turning point in my path of self discovery/eventual career goals.
  4. Pinterest has become my best friend. Want to plan an entire week involving Dr. Seuss? Check Pinterest. Need a last minute project/craft? There’s thousands on Pinterest. Can’t figure out how to organize or decorate your classroom? You’ll find blogs and articles with helpful advice on Pinterest. It’s been one of the best resources I’ve had for this job, and so much of it I have found for free.
  5. There. Is. Glitter. Everywhere. Oh my gosh, how does it GET EVERYWHERE? It’s in my contacts. My coffee. In my purse. Deep under my fingernails. In the cracks of my floor. Then it somehow comes home with me and appears on my dinner, the TV remote, my wine. It’s like cat hair, but 36x worse. I swear that evil craft material multiples. You can never get rid of it, and kids LOVE using it. Am I forever burdened with the glitter curse? Send help.
  6. Kids say the darndest things, and can truly turn your day around. Some days I really doubt my abilities. I wonder if my class actually is learning, or if I’m disciplining too much. Sometimes they don’t listen, throw fits, or they’re having a horrible day. A bad mood can throw off the entire class. Even when I feel like I can’t do anything right a kid will say an adorable comment, make me laugh, or succeed in something they’ve been working at for weeks, like tying their shoes or holding their pencil correctly. It seems small to our adult brains, but seeing their excitement is the most encouraging bit of my job, and it makes me feel like I really am making a difference in their little lives.

 

Kisses & Kimchi,

Elizabeth

 

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