I spent a few minutes after school today slumped in the rocking chair beside the whiteboard that I fully intended to clean. I was exhausted, as are most kindergarten teachers at the end of the FULL MOON day. (You can’t tell me that children don’t morph on days when there is a full moon. Teachers KNOW. Shouldn’t some scientist out there be interviewing us?)
I started thinking about what “real” people do during the day, and the things that they say while on the job; the people who aren’t lucky enough to be shaping young minds and hearts.
They probably say things like, “Nurse, scalpel!”
And, “Trade the stock! Trade it now!”
Or even, “Your honor, I object!”
Somehow I can’t picture an investment banker looking at a client and saying in a firm voice, “How many times have I asked you not to pick your nose?”
And try as I might, I can’t imagine any lawyer friends of mine saying to a client, “No, I don’t have crabs” while shuffling through stencils.
And if you were a loan officer and you were looking at numbers and number words, are you likely to say, “No, it’s the other F word” when trying to decide between four and five?
And call me crazy, but I can’t picture Judge Smith saying to the jury, “If I see anyone sniffing their markers, you’re all using crayons.”
I find myself laughing and shaking my head after I’ve said funny things to the children in my class.
You know what I said today? You want to know ALL THE THINGS I said at work recently? Here’s what my tired, old brain remembers:
“I said no getting married, no kissing and no hugging in school. NO HUGGING!”
“No, Joe, do not make Batman masks out of the Play-Doh. I admire your creativity, but I can see where this is going.“
“Michael, please get the dinosaur out of your pants.”
“Our fingers do not go in our noses, or in our pants or on your neighbors.”
“Susie, worms are NOT pets. Please take them out of your pockets and return them outside.”
“Joe, please get the Play-Doh off your head, please. “
“James, we do NOT talk about C-4, dynamite, or any other kind of “flosives” in reading groups-or any other time during our day in kindergarten. Got it?”
“Helen! HELEN!!! Do NOT eat the chicken leg in the play kitchen. They are plastic, ten-years old and very used!”
“Rachel, were you sniffing the scented markers again? Yes, I think maybe you were. Then, why is your nose purple, red, brown and green?”
“Joe, no more Play-Doh for you! For at least a week!” (Mrs. Jones, did he really put that in his pants?)
“George, I said tentacle. TENTACLE.”
“David – do NOT crawl under the table and eat those brownie crumbs! Stop it! There is no ten-second rule when the floor is FILTHY.”
“People, I am begging you, please, please, PLEASE do NOT put your fingers in your noses. We have five billion boxes of tissues in this room that NO ONE USES. Well, no one, perhaps, except me.”
And the other little thing I say every day? The other phrase that I say so often I hear it in my sleep?
“Okay everyone, time to go home. Remember that tomorrow is a new day, and I love you all very, very much.”
And while everything I say during the day is important, these are the probably the most important words of all.