Sunday, October 23, 2011

Preschool Kids + Candy Corn = Two of My Favorite Things

They really are two of my favorite things...but not in combination.  I have loved preschool age kiddos for some time...always something new when you work with little kids.  My love for candy corn comes from a few different directions--first, I love fall and what candy epitomizes fall better than candy corn; second, it sounds healthy with the "corn" part and it is fat free.  Each of these favorites stand alone...not to be least not while I am on duty. 

I love Halloween.  I hate what it does to little kids.  The main thing that drives me crazy is as soon as the big box stores clearance out the back to school supplies they begin decorating in orange and black and stocking all the Halloween goodies...everywhere little kids turn they are bombarded with mini Butterfingers and scary masks.  They love it and they fear makes them nervous and excited...and too much candy...well that makes them super excited, sticky, and eventually sick.  Because I do enjoy Halloween I was somewhat disappointed when I found out we didn't "celebrate" Halloween at my first teaching job.  What?  You mean we are going to rob little kids of this holiday experience? 

We did have an evening Halloween event for the families that first year...and I saw why it is best to keep things bland when it comes to holidays and little kids.  It was a chaotic mess.  Kids were acting like the characters they were dressed as...parents were frustrated that expensive costumes were being stained with chocolate or worse...torn.  Instead of enjoying this event it caused a lot of stress on the families.  After this event I partially saw why we didn't incorporate Halloween into our planning for the whole month of October.  The next day sealed the deal, the kids were still pumped up from the party...some still wearing capes, fake tattoos, and I swear some still had chocolate drool around their mouths.  This is when I vowed that I would not be the cause of overloading children with such a commercialized holiday. 

After this baptism into preschool Halloween, I focused more on the fun of the season rather than the holiday.  I did plan to have pajama party day on the school day closest to Halloween so the kids had something a little different for the day but it didn't pump them up the way a traditional pajama party did.  This solved the dilemma of parents wanting to send their child to school in costume...although some pajamas are made to look like a superhero complete with cape...which is easy to detach and leave in a cubby...funny how a cape can change your personality.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Exhale....the Licensing Visit is Over!

It is that time of year again...we just had our license renewal inspection today.  We have known that it was coming since August when we filed the renewal paperwork.  Then about a week ago the licensing agent called and verified our operating hours and our whacky university schedule.  We are confident in our program and know we are doing what we need to do...but knowing someone is coming in to inspect sends us all into a nervous frenzy.  But by 3:30pm...our almost 2 hour visit was over for the year.  We exhaled and smiled.  This is just  preparation for when we are up for our accreditation site visit...anytime and the end of March 2012. 

As I relax after the good visit I think of all that could have been...what if all the crazy days some how all got combined and that was the day that the licensing lady pulled up to visit.  I am going to take a trip down memory lane and reflect on some of my past crazy times. 

So glad she didn't visit when:
  • J chewed all the feet and tails off the animals in the block area.
  • I had to remove a Polly pocket shoe from P's nose.
  • I hit my head so hard on a shelf that I had to send a child to get me an ice pack.
  • I caught a running mouse with a butterfly net in a classroom.
  • I trapped bat number one...and bat number two in butter tubs on the celing of the playground patios.
  • I picked up the dead baby skunk (on the playground) with my gloved hands to show the kids how cute and non-stinky they were.  The mama skunk had been trapped and removed days earlier...her den filled in with gravel...only to have the strongest of her babies crawl out only to die on the playground.
  • Two children at naptime commented, "Hey, Mrs. T's asleep", darn cold medication and music by Enya...if I was asleep I wouldn't be able to recall this information...would I?
  • We tried flour in the sand the classroom...can you say "ghost children"?
  • J ran into the rock wall and bled on my white shirt before they stitched him up.
  • When I carried a child back to the center from a walk while she screamed, "I hate you" to me and everyone that walked by.
  • I called a child's parents to have them come take him to the emergency room after a fall...he complained of his side hurting...we were afraid he broke a rib...turns out he was so constipated that the fall caused pain...expensive way to figure out you need more fiber in your diet.
  • I hid a toddler size doll in a co-worker's backseat.  :)
  • B told me he liked my "bwreast"..."Oh, you like my dress?"...."No...your bw-reast".  Guessing my dress enhanced that area that day!
  • I finally beat K playing Pokemon Memory only to have her dad walk in while I was gloating over my win.
  • E demonstrated the birthing process during circle time...complete with legs up and Lamaze words to describe my thoughts.
  • Mr. Critter (classroom hamster) had escaped for the umpteenth time.
  • J brought me a live scorpion in a yogurt container.
I am sure that there are more moments that I have blocked out...and I know there will be many more to come.  I am certainly glad that I am in a field where every day is truly an boring desk job for us early childhood people!