Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winding Down

I've mentioned before that I have been teaching young children for a long time.  I student taught in 1994, but my mother was an early childhood teacher too, and I used to love to "help out with the little kids" back when I was pretty little myself.  Growing up I always said I was going to be a singer, but I'd be a teacher until my singing career took off.  Just as well I had a day job, because the only singing I do anymore is to myself and small people.

I started my teaching career with 6 years of first grade, which I loved!

I never thought I'd do anything else, but when my second son came along, some friends were looking for childcare and suggested I should stay home and keep their kids and mine... and that was 15 1/2 years ago!

Since then I've gone from working alone with 5 children aged birth to not quite 4, to hiring an assistant and having 12 preschool and kindergarten aged kiddos.  I love the 3-6 year old age range!  I'm so very grateful that there are caregivers who want to snuggle babies (and change their diapers, teach them to walk, clean food out of their hair, etc.) because as much as I enjoy a little baby snuggle, it's not where my heart lies.  Watching children figure things out, hearing, "I can do it," and seeing the pride they feel when they accomplish learning goals, that's what motivates me.

I love it when a child realizes it is okay to pick up a worm or bug,

when they discover a tiny tomato growing in the garden,

or realize what letter a word starts with.

It's not just the learning, but the attitude, the joy in discovery, the love of science and nature and literature and... everything.

My house, my family's home, has become a school, with closets full of learning games and materials, rooms full of toys, a backyard that looks like a park, and children everywhere.

The children who have learned here have left little pieces of themselves behind, to become part of our family culture.  We say, "that's biscusting" (disgusting) and "mynastics" (gymnastics) and quote children's books constantly.  Don't ask how many Sesame Street songs we still remember!  My own boys are now 15 and 19, and it makes me incredibly proud to see how well they interact with small children.  My 15 year old can make lunch for a dozen children without missing a beat, and either one of them can get a group of kiddos to play nicely together, and do it with calm voices. 

All these things are part of who I am, and what I am: a teacher.

I think I will always be a teacher, but it won't be the way it is now.  My family is planning to relocate for my husband's work, and it is time for me to let go of the playroom and lunchroom and weekends of lesson planning.  In three weeks time I will close the doors to my school, and my kiddos will move on to new adventures - and so will I.

What does the future hold?  Once we're settled, I'm going to spend more time creating teaching materials to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I love creating games and fun ways for children to learn, and with Teachers Pay Teachers I can reach children around the world!  Maybe I'll go back to the classroom, or finish my masters degree and think about teaching early childhood education at a university.  I don't know for sure, but I do know one thing:  I will always be a learner and I will always be a teacher.

I hope you will stay with me on my blog as I find my way through new learning adventures!

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