Prompt: Graceful

Last few weeks, watching the kids play, I been noticing certain girls wanting to teach dance to their friends. They come and tell me how no one wants to play with them. To which I ask, “Did you even ask them to play?” Their response, “No.” Then, I tell them how I can’t help them when they didn’t try. I tell them they need to ask because no one can read their minds. Sometimes they run away asking, other times they stand there looking confused. Kids.

One day I asked them what are they planning on playing because when I suggest some kids to ask to play with, they say no, they don’t want to ask them. They look embarrassed or weirded out in asking those kids (mainly the boys). The girls tell me excitedly they are dancing. And they need two more two teach it.

I’ve seen two of the girls when they teach dancing, they are very picky about how their classmates are standing. If their classmate moves from that position, the girls would immediately go back to them and move them to the correct position.

It’s not just the younger age group of girls dancing, it’s also a few of the older girls; however, the older kids don’t get as picky on positions and move their friends to the position they are telling.

I watch how the kids turn so gracefully and sway to a tune in their heads. The older kids hum the tune sometimes. The younger kids, most of them don’t. If you ask them to sing a song, some of the kids in the younger age go quiet. A lot of them don’t like the spotlight and yet, they’ll dance right there in front of everyone.

It’s fun watching the kids have fun. They do work all morning in the classroom and their routine is about the same everyday- it can get rather boring. Play time they can run around outside, climb on the jungle gym or the monkey bars for the older kids. They can express themselves.

Graceful

Prompt: Cheat

Cheat

I have been working with daycare kids since 2012 and switched to a private school since last February. Since then, I have realized, not only high school students try to copy and cheat off one another on homework, papers, test, etc. Even 3.5-5.5 year olds try to copy off of each other’s papers!

There are two little girls- they are cousins. They have the same level of paperwork. After passing out the papers, the children sit and do their work. The teacher made it clear for them to do it on their own. She’s the lead teacher, so I say, “Ok”. As long as they try we can help them.

No matter how many times the other teacher tells them they have to be separated or tell them to separate they find their way together again. They sit together and one peaks onto the other’s paper or even ask, “Is this one right?” I think it’s cute they learning off of each other because they are cousins. One does know some of it a bit more than the other. Still, it’s not good to start a habit in copying.

I find it interesting that whenever the other teachers been around these girls always go and sit together. But when teacher goes off on vacation and it’s just me or me and a helper, they only did it once or twice to me in two weeks.

Looking at the word “Cheat”, I was thinking about these two girls. How they haven’t sat together last whole week and the week before. Week before they only did it once or twice that was it.

They aren’t the only ones. Another two girls used to sit together everyday, too. They started to separate and do their own work, rather than sit and talk and exchange answers.

I hope they keep at it because I don’t want them going to another school and get caught copying off of someone else’s work. I always tell these kids to try to do it by yourself. I won’t be following you into your other schools to help you. They just shake their heads- some understand, some I question whether they do.

Kids with Allergies

Those kids with allergies, sitting there unable to eat the cookies or cakes their classmates bring, I feel so bad for them.

One kid we had, she was allergic to MSG and another (GMO?) that I’m not aware of. She was also allergic to a few other foods. We had to check with the front desk if she could eat outside food. Whenever she didn’t get a cake or cookie, she’d cry. I felt bad. She’s only four. Yet, age is no competition to allergies. Allergens don’t care if you’re a baby or above 100 years old.

Another kid we have, from her many list of food allergies, one among them is eggs. She said boiled eggs she can eat. “That’s it.” She nodded her head as she ended with that while answering my question of allergy to egg.

This girl, wanted a cookie so bad. Her classmate brought cookies that day because it was his last day. I think deep down she knew she couldn’t have it but still said yes to the teacher asking her. I questioned the teacher about the eggs. She said, “No, it doesn’t have any.” I looked at the ingredients while she asked the assistant director whether the girl can have one. She asked does she want it? The teacher said yes. The assistant director decided let her have it.

When I told the teacher about egg in it the assistant director already left. The teacher’s response, “She told me to give her because she [the girl] wants it.”

I didn’t want that girl to have an allergy attack and the way she answered the teacher, she wasn’t confident in saying she could have it. I’ve seen her where she can have something and I question her for the allergy. It wasn’t like that answer. It was more of a I want it but I don’t want to say it. Kind of like she’s hiding something.

When she got the cookie though, she didn’t eat it. At least when asking her did she take a piece of it, she said no. She just sat with it. I asked her in a nice way, “You asked for the cookie so you can throw it away?” I didn’t want to make her feel bad. I do that with my nickel allergy when I want a chocolate or something. I sit with it until I finally throw it away or put it away. She couldn’t take it home with her because she was in school. She’s only 4.5 years old. So why make her feel bad about it?

I told her after she told me again about the boiled eggs are the only ones she can have, when baking cookies, the eggs are usually not boiled. That is why I thought she couldn’t have it. She understood. And she threw the cookie away.

My guess is she was thinking she could save it for her little brother. But usually the other teacher says to the kids to throw it away, so I don’t think they save it. Plus, she doesn’t have any lunchbox to hide it in. So, if she forgets to take it ants will go crazy-they already are in the classroom-climbing the walls like mad. One kid’s snack was left open in her cubby. She took it out and found ants already in it.

And that’s why I tell them, close your bags nicely. And that’s why all snacks should be left in the cafeteria.

Elementary Education

Hey all. Who has an Education degree? Who likes working as a teacher? I want to go back to college for Elementary Education. But I feel like I messed up financially and am not so confident I’d make it through.

If you are a teacher or have been, what advice can you give? I been working with Daycare/private schools. I currently work with 3.5-5.5 year olds and for one hour (unless requested), I watch older kids- that time they are mostly playing.

I get most of the kids to listen. The previous daycare I was able to get a kid to draw something for art when he refused to and the other teacher gave up. That’s what I find I mostly do. I try to question the kids and find some way to motivate them. He was 11 years old. He loved history. For art, they were told to draw anything. He sat there. I asked him to draw. He told me no and was irritated when I questioned him and tried motivating him to draw.

I did get frustrated at first. But I took a step back. Then, I asked him what his favorite character is in a movie or tv show. Something to start up a conversation that would find what he’s interested in because at that point asking what’s his interest led to I can’t draw! response.

I forget the character he told me. I told him to draw that. He responded he can’t and I said try. He still said it.

So I showed him some drawings by his friends around him, some were great others were not so much but it was their work and they tried. I told him some can draw, others may not. All I asked was for him to try. I showed him his friends work saying this person may not have known how to draw this, but they tried. He still kept saying he can’t.

I don’t remember what I said that got him to draw. But in the end he felt happy and even showed me his drawing. In my head, all I could think was I got him to draw- an 11 year old kid who had no desire whatsoever to make even one single line on his paper.

He’s the same kid that started talking more to me. Telling me he likes history. He’d used to tell me what he learned about history and I’d listen. He knew when he could talk about those things- like when we are sitting at the table playing, but not in a group when it’s time for learning.

I remember how he annoyed the other teacher because he’d interrupt her a lot during her circle time. But when I had to do circle time, he’d listen. I made it clear to them there’s a time for talking and a time for listening.

That moment last year during summer classes, I realized maybe I can be a teacher to older kids. I remember when he came to visit after he left that daycare because he was too old for it, he ran up to me to say hi. This is the same kid who said he won’t miss any of his teachers in the daycare when he leaves. This is the same kid I annoyed a lot because I didn’t give him what he wants all the time like the other teacher. I did that to all his friends. I was strict, but not too strict. At least, I tried. I try not to be friends with the kids, but I realized even though they are 5-11 year olds, they still need interaction.

This private school I started working in February this year, I try to interact with the kids by playing basketball with them. This I know got two kids who used to go there entertained and playing nicely with their other friends. Those two boys wanted to play a basketball game but we can’t. They were very upset. They didn’t like the standing in line throwing the ball one at a time. Not until I threw the ball in. Their new game was to try and get to 10 before me. What’s cool is more kids began playing some days, too.

I really want the education degree, but I’m scared I’ll give up on it. I already did at my previous college back in PA. If it happened once, it could happen again. With all the debt I put on myself, I think the education degree is a far reach.