Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SGW: Teachers Know EVERYTHING

Today's Special Guest Writer is The Bride.  You may remember her from our ill-fated evening of swilling, spitting, moderate behavior and overall good manners (also known as the T-Box Taste Test).  Or the post Kate wrote about the Indoor Homeless People acting up at her friend's wedding

The Bride is slightly nauseating, I should warn you.  Beautiful to the point of being disgusting, a unrepentant nerd and football fan (Green Bay) as well as being completely down to earth, funny and nice.  I fell in love with her when I realized she was the only person I knew who loved the song "I'm Awesome" as much as I do.  She also teaches Kindergarten and was thought just maybe she could tell us a few things about our kids from her perspective.  She was kind enough to oblige and for that we are very grateful.

But oh dear LORD.  Fasten your selt belts because it's exactly as bad as you think.

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Kate told me in passing one day that I should write something about being a kindergarten teacher for Rants from MommyLand. For a while I kind of ignored it, pushing it to the back of my mind… But honestly? I’m honored. I love Kate (for many of the same reasons you do, but for so many more reasons, too!). And I love Lydia, especially since we just decided we’re going to skip that whole “getting to know you” phase & go straight to being good friends. Okay. Deal. Awesome. I would love to write something.

Because I am not a Mom. By any means. I am very much not a Mom. I come home to three crazy dogs, Facebook, & “The Sims 3” most days. I obsess over “Harry Potter” as if it were actually real. I refuse to grow up (I’m currently wearing a Tinkerbell T-Shirt & PJ pants that are decorated with Iron Man, the Hulk, Spiderman, Thor & Captain America. My vows suddenly make more sense, don’t they?) So. Yeah. Far from being a Mom.

But I do teach Kindergarten. Which means that for 8 hours a day, I’m with 22 of the cutest, most annoying, very precocious, inquisitive, gassy, fidgety, helpful, lazy, hungry, whiney, bathroom obsessed kids on the planet. They’re my class. And they very well could be your kids. And I love them.

Okay. That’s a lie. Secret, Moms? Teachers don’t always love their class. We love most of our class, most of the time. I consider myself lucky with the group of kids I have this year – we haven’t had any major issues, and we didn’t have ONE case of head lice ALL STINKIN’ YEAR! That’s huge.
Whether I liked my kiddos every single second or not, I learned a great deal from every single one of them. I’ve also realized that with all of the Power I’ve acquired this year, knowing lots of details about each of the families in my room, I’ve got quite a bit of Responsibility as well.

I knew I’d learn a lot my first year teaching, about how the school works, about the incredible group of Kindergarten teachers and aides I work with everyday, the type of teacher I really want to be, how to give Math tests and Language Arts tests, how to teach kids who don’t speak English, how to tie shoes in under 3 seconds flat, how to get kids to stop crying & start laughing when they’re in a lot of pain, how to hear 3 kids talk to you at the same exact time & respond to each of them without skipping a beat. Tricks of the trade. I started this year off completely a sponge, ready to take in as much as possible.

If I only knew what I was getting myself into.

So I feel the only responsible thing for me to do is send a warning to you Moms (& Cap’n & McLovin), to remind you that your kids have no mute button. They say what they feel, what they think, no matter who is around. So keep this in mind this summer, when you’re on long road trips, sipping Coronas on the beach (I’ve seen pictures that prove you do this during Show & Tell), getting pulled over by the cops (those are my personal favorite stories), going to see Mean Aunt Ursula, eating McDonald’s everyday for lunch, or never putting sunscreen on your kids (ahem, Kate…) their teacher will learn every bit of this in the fall.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned this year…

Your age. This is usually covered within the first week of school, but occasionally pops up when it’s your birthday. It’s a fun, “Let’s get to know my new classmates – HEY MY MOM IS OLD!” kind of thing. At the beginning of the year, most of the kids don’t really know each other’s names, so it’s not a big deal. But by the end of the year, remember this: When your Little Precious comes home and tells you, “Johnny told me his Mom is 27, and his Dad is 57!” there’s a very good chance Little Johnny is running home to tell his parents how old you are. So, for safety’s sake, if you don’t want the 21 other student’s in the class, and the 42 parents that go along with that (including any teachers or aids) how old you are, celebrate your favorite birthday as much as possible. Because I know how old all of you are. All of you.

The bad words you say. I’m not preaching, by any means. I love bad words. LOVE them (sorry, Mom). I know that it’s hard not to let one slip, because they’re fun to say, & manage to really get a message across. But, as we’ve learned from our plethora of Pool Rules, kids are sponges when it comes to bad words. And they love to say them at the worst possible moment.

I had a student tell me just last week, “My Dad won’t take me to Chuck E. Cheese’s anymore. He says it’s too crappy.” Well, one point for Dad for realizing that black hole of germs is not recipe for a fun afternoon. But, Dad, really? I know that other than your six year old GEM of a kid, you’ve also got a three year old daughter who I’m sure heard you. Not cool, dude. Crappy, I’ll admit, is not a true curse word. But coming out of the mouth of a five year old kind of is one.

[Side note on this Little Precious, this was the same kid who, when we were learning about Needs and Wants, told me that beer was a “need.” Completely justifying it by telling the class, “Well, that’s what my Dad tells my Mom!” Win.]

Twice in one week I had a student drop the s-bomb. Both times were in perfect context, too (which only impresses me, let’s be honest). The first time he was with another teacher, and when a classmate told him they were missing centers, without blinking an eye he quipped “Well, schmidt.” Kind of hilarious, and a super fun phone call home. The second time was in front of me, as well as the rest of the class. When he picked up his backpack three others fell from the bench, “SCHMIDT!” Again, impressive. The conversation with the entire class afterwards about what bad words are and why we don’t say them? Not so impressive.
I had a Little Precious, while she was washing her hands for snack, look up at me and smile. “My Mommy says bad words,” she told me.

“Really?” I asked.

“Oh yeah. In the car. A lot.”

Ignoring my own instincts to ask her what words Mommy says, I said to her, “They might be grown up words. You don’t say those words, do you?”

She smiled. “Not in front of Mommy!”

Touche.

Kids saying the darndest things is pretty funny, but how mad were you when Little Precious spent the night at Little Terror’s house & came home calling you douche, or came home from Kindergarten & (properly) called the cat a Little Schmidt because he schmidt on the floor? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

So the next time you’re driving & tell the douche who cut you off that he’s a mother fracker, remember… even though you’re totally justified & in the right, you’ve just taught 21 other kids that word.

Stretchy Pants were designed by pedophiles. I was 12 when my sister was born (BEST. BIRTH. CONTROL. EVER!), so I know what a pain it is to dress a kid. I know that when they’re cranky dressing them is even yesser. But stretchy pants, I have learned, are a horrible, horrible wardrobe choice for your child. How do I know this? Because I have seen the buttcrack of every child who has worn one pair of stretchy pants to Kindergarten. It doesn’t matter how long their shirt is, how big their underwear is, or if their pants are the correct size or not. These pants love to droop and sag. And when they sit down, I get a little show. And so does the kid behind them, who for not fault of their own, stares at the crack in front of them like it was a solar eclipse (How can you not look?!) I know these are a great wardrobe choice for kids, but as they have no self awareness, the flashing gets a little out of control sometimes.

Private parts are hillarious. Don’t I know it, I mean…wait. That was inappropriate. Then again, so are your kids. Not only are they fun to touch in the middle of circle time, they’re also fun to LOOK at. Especially when they’re not ours. Last week on the playground we had some fun show-and-tell time. And, according to both the Little Preciouses, this wasn’t the first time they’d done it.

I must say, without trying to really give away specifics, the best part is when the little girl tried to deny seeing the boy’s “privates,” so the teacher asked him again, “Dude, did you show her your privates?” he responded with a very angry, “YES! I did! She is LYING Mrs. Teacher! I SHOWED HER MY PRIVATES!”

Righty-o, little guy. We got it. You’ve got goods & like showing them off. WELL CUT IT OUT!

The bathroom habits of your entire house (I’m assuming...) Kids pick their nose. They stick their hands down their pants (All. The. Time). They wiggle their tooth. They play with loose strands on the carpet. The poke ants in the dirt. They pick up napkins/trash/popsicle sticks they find on the playground (“Look, Ms. Teacher! LITTER!”) They wipe their butts. And, for many of them, they walk past the sink like it didn’t even exist. For all but one of these, to an extent, I’m forgiving. But a kid not washing their hands after they go to the bathroom? THAT IS NOT OKAY! EW!

Not only do kids do all of the things above, but they also hold hands, share pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, colored pencils, markers, books, the computer’s keyboard and mouse, toys, flashcards, blocks, games, puzzles… get my drift here? Because I could go on for hours…

When your kid doesn’t wash their hands, EVERY SINGLE GERM they have touched since they washed their hands last is now the germ of 21 other students. And sometimes the teacher. Remember Little Terror? Remember when you had him over after school and he kept wiping his nose with his hand & wiped the snot all over his shirt, and it grossed you out to no end? Yeah. He’s not washing his hands after the bathroom either. And he’s sharing every material in the class with Little Precious. And now he’s brought them to your home. Think of it that way.

Now, I should clarify – I harp on kids who don’t do this automatically after the bathroom. I also embarrass them when they pick their nose, chastise them for wiggling their teeth all the time, & snap at them for having their hands down their pants (ALL. THE. TIME). The point is, I have about a million other things I need to remind them & get through to them. Help me out here, Moms, make sure your kid can wash their hands. And that they actually DO it. Because when they don’t wash theirs, I’m almost positive you’re not washing yours.

A friend of mine had an incident with a student wiping poop on the walls, & when a phone call home was made, Mom’s response was, “Well sometimes he does that when he gets poop on his hands from wiping.” Really, Mom? AS THOUGH THIS IS OKAY?

I know, I don’t have kids. But I’m sure that the first time your kid wipes poo on the walls is going to be the last time….

Moral of the story is that if your kids are gorillas in the bathroom, I’m assuming you are, too.

Your feeding habits are ridiculous. A friend of mine had a parent tell her that, since their son only eats French fries (which our cafeteria does not serve), chicken nuggets & apple juice, would she please make arrangements so he can eat this everyday?

I have to believe, for my own sanity’s sake, that I don’t need to point out why this is so absurd. Because you’re parents, & you understand how feeding time at school happens.  Yet, I feel compelled to let you know that it was a Dad who requested these things. Just sayin’.

Oh, also had a Mom who sent in only Pop-Tarts, Teddy Grahams (which are fan-FREAKING-tastic, don’t get me wrong), Ritz Crackers & Capri Suns for lunch for an entire week. And seemed annoyed when we called her, asking if this was in fact her daughter’s snack, or her actual lunch. Um, really? You’re right, we’re the crazy ones.

We are not a restaurant. We have no control over what is served, and more importantly, what isn’t. We work with what we’ve got. So, in some instances, please give us a break.

You yell a lot. Okay, I know this isn’t true. I also know that you reach your breaking points sometimes, get a little Pissy, and lose your Schmidt. I’m surprised you don’t do it more, frankly. I would too, if it weren’t for the fact that I might get fired for it. But every single time you yell, whether it be at the cat, your husband, the car in front of you, your first child/second child/forgotten child, I know all the gory details. It’s fun. Especially during Tell & Show or circle time, to get the full reenactment.

You’re human. You run late. You oversleep. You forget library books the day they’re due. You forget to send in lunch money. You pack a lunch that they hate. You forget snack. You have cereal for dinner. You stick your kids in front of the TV all afternoon some days. You let them stay up late when the pool opens. You forget sunscreen. You let your kids out of the door with dirty clothes on. You forget to remind them to brush their teeth/wipe their face. You cry some mornings. You slack on teaching your kids how to tie their shoe. You forget to sign their Friday Folder. You forgot to send in the permission slip. You treat them to McDonald’s some mornings. You let them ice cream for breakfast. You stay up late watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” You yell at your husband. You run out of gas. You stub your toe and say a bad word.

Of course you do.

You know what I do? Forget to feed my dogs. Forget to send home report cards. Forget my laptop at home. Don’t have the energy to teach the math lesson I planned, so let’s play puzzles instead. Check TMZ at school. Forget to answer parent emails, only to remember at midnight. Forget to call you back. Sometimes show movies to help get the point across. Let them stay outside longer at Recess than we’re scheduled to. Show up late to Library/Music/Art/PE/Computer lab. Let them get squirrely in the halls, even though they’re really not supposed to. Let them get too loud.

Because they’re kids.

And, sometimes, they’re awesome.

Why not let them have as much fun as possible? This is Kindergarten, after all!

Xoxo, The Bride

Oh. Soft Kitty. 




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31 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post -- It's a lot of fun reading the thoughts of a Kindergarten teacher. It confirmed a lot of things I've always suspected as well as my assumption that I could never possess one-tenth of the patience and stamina that teachers have.

    I do need to respectfully dispute a few points made by The Bride. I'm glad she admits that she's not a parent, as that is very obvious. For one thing, you can try to instill as much hygiene-training as possible and still have your kids be bathroom gorillas as school. I have spent hours constantly and consistently reminding my kids to wash their hands after going to the bathroom and even teaching them to sing the alphabet song while washing hands to ensure that they do it long enough. Yet I suspect that when they are at school, we're lucky if they give their hands a half-second rinse. They also wipe their mouths on their sleeves after eating, but I'll have you know that we buy napkins by the bulk at Costco and set them out with the utensils.

    Bride, please remember not to believe everything your kids tell you about their parents. To be fair, I don't believe everything my kids tell me about their teachers, either. My kids can never remember my age, my occupation or my hobbies, and they're older, so I can just imagine how inaccurate the info you're getting from your younger students can be. I would apply this assumption to all information about yelling parents and feeding habits. My son tells people that all I do all day is sit around drinking coffee and going on Facebook -- I'm actually a media-relations coordinator for a public-affairs firm. My son is 13. And gifted, according to his school. Just food for thought.

    But stretchy pants? Good call on that one, Bride. A little crack goes a long way.

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  2. Oh I'm scared and awesomely excited about sending J to Kindergarten one of these days... This was great!!!!!

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  3. LOVE.LOVE. The Big Bang Theory!! You have to see the tables turned later in that episode when she gets him to sing it to her.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKLlb3Yc-Us

    Hillarious!!
    And I taught 4K many, many years ago, before my six pack was even thought of and when I still had my mind, but it was the beginning of the end of that!

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  4. Hey, I was just reading another comment on this page and it disappeared. Do y'all sensor the comments? I didn't see anything bad it was just another opinion that didn't necessarily agree with those of the Bride. Not criminal, just different.

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  5. Loved it! As a teacher and a mom...LOVED IT!!!

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  6. Oh how I loved this. I had the priviledge of being a homeroom mom for my daughter's 1st grade class this year. A few hours a week in her class. I loved every minute & I saw firsthand (in that short amount of time) so much of what you just described. The kids are amazing & so are their teachers that ringlead.

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  7. Lydia here! We're having a BIG problem with moderating comments today. Most of them are not getting posted due to an error with Blogger. I hope this problem gets fixed soon.

    There was one comment I took out because the writer made such a strong and heartfelt point that I changed the post to reflect her comment. She was 100% right and wish I could tell her so but the comment was anonymous. I edited the post and took out the sentance that her comment focused on, so that's why her comment was removed - so it wouldn't cause confusion with readers looking for a sentance that wasn't there anymore. And that is the ONLY reason I took her comment down.

    Anonymous mom & teacher who wrote that comment- Thank you for your polite and considerate and honest feedback. The same thing made me sad too.

    Please know we really value all your comments and we're sorry for any confusion regarding what comments get posted this morning.

    xo, Lydia

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  8. I must agree with Jenny that my children's bathroom habits are in no way a reflection of my own; I spend a good chunk of my day in the bathroom with them, so I know! This also goes for their eating habits. I just tell myself that if I keep setting out silverware and napkins, they will eventually start using them...my daughter is five and only truly realized they were there when I had her start setting the table for dinner every night! We don't have junk food in our house, but any time anyone else has it around them or brings it over, they are all over it. You'd think I never fed them anything at all. But let's face it, if they can get away with not washing their hands and eating some Oreos when I am not around, they will. Because they are kids. And they like to defy my authority. Any.Chance.They.Get.

    I am totally with you on the Pop Tart Mom, though. Bad Mommy!

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  9. I always tell my students' families that I'll believe 50% of what the kids tell me about them, if they will believe 50% of what the kids tell them about me.

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  10. I think that this goes to show that Perception is everything.. I know I've called my son's teacher over very very disturbing things that my child has come home telling me.. only to find out that it was wildly miscontrued by my lovely boy.

    I hope that the teachers would give me the same respect and benefit of the doubt. Because seriously Kids are uncensored, whether there information is correct or not..

    However I DO agree about the language thing. SIGH. I fear I have taught more than my share of bad words.. in fact if I don't get my 3 yr old to STOP saying farking schmidt.. I may not get to sent him to preschool.. funny how he uses it in context though.

    Kids don't come with a manual. I'm so glad that there are people out there in the world that are ready willing and able to take on my children for 8 hours a day..

    Teachers.. you have NO idea how much we look forward to our children being with you! You save our sanity.

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  11. I forget to do all of these things, at least 3 times a week. Those poor teachers.

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  12. Loved it!! As a teacher and mom, I am always reminding my husband that whatever he says the whole world will find out about it. My 7 and 4 year olds repeat everything.

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  13. I LOVED this! I am a teacher and a mommy and thought it was brilliant!

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  14. Lydia here. We're having huge problems with Blogger today and most comments are not getting posted. We're so sorry for any confusion this causes!

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  15. I am a first grade teacher and pretty much agree with everything you say! I always begin the year by telling my parents that I will believe half of what your child tells me about them if they believe half of what their child says about me!

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  16. As teacher and a mom - I LOVED IT! Folks, remember, even if your child doesn't get the story exactly right, or know your exact age, they are giving it to you through THEIR eyes! Which, quite honestly, is even a bigger window into how your family works.

    And Bride, you hit the nail on the head with "You're Human". Problem is, parents seem to forget that we are human, too. And actually have a life outside of school.

    I have one thing to add,though: the Perfect Parent. Who has the Perfect Child. Who thinks it matters whether her child is the top reader in the class (in First Grade - really? have you ever heard of peaking early? Not a good thing). Who thinks anyone else actually cares. Who volunteers JUST to get the scoop on other kids (yes, we can tell your motives. We know if you are actually there to help us or not).

    Oh, I could go on and on (and on and on and on), But it's summer vacation and I don't want to think about anything school-related :)

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  17. I read the comment referenced above and I agree with that mommy 100%. I edited the post to reflect her heartfelt, considerate and thoughtful comment. In doing so, I removed the sentance that she referred to. I ended up removing her comment because I didn't want readers to be confused, looking for a sentance in today's post that wasn't there anymore. That is the ONLY reason I took it down.

    I thought her comment was great and I wish I could respond to that mommy directly but her comment was anonymous. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and craft such an eloquent statement. You are awesome and also really pretty.

    We really appreciate all your comments and we're sorry that leaving one today is such a cluster. So far, at least 11 comments that have been approved have gotten an error message from Blogger and seem to be lost in space.

    Working on it!
    xo, Lydia

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  18. Ha!!! Love this post!!! When I started teaching, my mentor shared something with me that she said at back to school night every year--- "if you believe half of what your child says about me, I will believe half of what they say about you." I have used it ever since- and always get parents to giggle about it.

    But it is so true--- having my own daughter now, I can only imagine the things she says about things at home. It is probably better for me to try not to think about it!

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  19. OK. I confess I am the Mother who rarely if ever washes her hands in a public bathroom. And likewise neither does my daughter. Before you issue the collective "Eeeewww!" hear me out. Between the wet faucet handles, wet paper towel lever, and quite often a wet door handle I just can't take it. Bless the person who invented the motion sensor bath accessories, but where these aren't available I'll pass on the hand washing. Instead (and my daughter knows better then anyone) I'm always packin' the little bottle of sanitizer in my purse. And yes, I flush with my foot too. :)

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  20. Great Guest Post! And as for the bride, some mommies doth protest too much, methinks...

    I am a step-mom to an awesome little guy, who lives with me and my hubby. I tell his Mommy, I won't believe 1/2 the things he says about his time with you - if you will do the same. Unfortunately, I think that there is more like 3/4 truths abound.

    And I'm sure the Bride loses her schmidt at all the parents who expect that special treatment for their kiddos. Cause teachers have nothing but time to cater to your wunderkind.

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  21. oooh the handwashing thing skeeves me out - and unfortunately I think the bride is right in that a lot of adults skip washing their hands! When I worked full time I often saw it in the bathrooms - people with a quick hair fluff and walk out the door (ewww!) and my husband has backed it up too. Luckily after working in a hospital I've instilled such a fear in my kids that my oldest once came running up to me after my father took them to the bathroom as we were leaving a restaurant and said "PeePaw said I didn't have to use soap... just water" - after that embarrassment my Dad always makes sure they use soap too! LOL -- anyhow, instant hand sanitizer works wonders. Even my 2 boys are willing to squirt that on whenever its put in front of them!

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  22. I'm trying not to feel *too* depressed, as a lot of the things you think were things I believed before I had kids, too, and now I totally pay for it when other people without kids judge me. I remember, for example, seeing kids with runny noses and untied shoes, thinking, why doesn't that mom clean up her kid? Not realizing that the kid was SPARKLING clean and tidy when they left the house. I remember thinking it was odd that the mom of two young kids didn't participate in more church functions, not realizing that the mom would spend the entire function chasing her kids (one of which, as it turned out, has autism--nice call, Younger Cathy). You seem like a really kind, more-than-usually-forgiving not-mom (not to mention a blast to drink with and delightfully witty and true-to-your-fun-self). When you have kids, I hope you'll be especially kind to yourself by never reading this, and forgiving yourself for the teeny bit you didn't know back now. Most of us thought kids were a mirror-perfect reflection of their parents' habits and speech before we had kids!

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  23. Oh Bride. Funny stuff. I have to agree with the other posters, though, that our children's bathroom behaviour in no way reflects our pottying values as a family.

    Bad words? Yup. That's me.

    I think you'll learn as a teacher (and hopefully someday as a mommy!) that even if you teach a kid a skill 100 times and Little Precious does it perfectly in front of you, all bets are off when the situation is changed. It's very, very hard for learning to transfer when the circumstances change (i.e. bathroom at home vs bathroom at school).

    I think I learned in Ed. school (I was a teacher, too, once-upon-a-time) that it takes 50 exposures to a skill for it to begin to really sink in with a kid - and that's, um, average kids. Plus as you know, we all have different ways of learning and maybe pottying just isn't Little Precious' best modality ;)

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  24. Lydia,
    I was the one who posted that comment that you took down--and took to heart. Thank you so much for responding to it. It means a lot.

    Glad I came back to look!

    And thanks for the compliment. I haven't been feeling so awesome or pretty this morning, as I sit here post-yelling at two of my kids, in my PJs with zit cream on a lovely new blemish. But I'm gonna go ahead and believe you. :-)

    -Amanda (Sorry I'm anonymous. I can never get my profile to work on comments.)

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  25. Having also just finished my first year teaching AND as a mom to preschoolers, I have to say I LOVE THIS SGW post!!! I teach in the inner-city of a large district. Let me tell you...the crack you see in K is no match for the "shows" I get in my 4th Grade! I am praying that low-cut-hipster jeans go out of style very soon. And please, if your chest is bigger than mine, you NEED a bra, even if you ARE only 10 (or 11 or 12)! Oh, btw...if you are the parent of a 9+ year old, please be proactive on teaching your child about bathing and using deodorant. I know that my students *think* that I use Febreeze in my class because I *believe* that the scent helps them concentrate and I like it....but it is really because your kid STINKS!

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  26. Since you are a Kindergarten teacher and you've agreed to post to K & L's blog, I thought you might be willing to solve a problem I've had thru the years...teacher gifts. What do you love, what do you hate and if you're will to tell, how generous or cheap are parents? I've heard such varying stories from fellow parents about what they give, I thought I'd ask you directly. thanks for your post.

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  27. Yah....not digging on a non-mommy telling me what a rotten job I'm doing. My brother's childless girlfriend already has that position...mmmkay?

    But I get it. I get it because I was a childless teacher. I would cringe at the things the kids would tell me about their homelife ( heck, I STILL tell the story about the 2nd grader during Red Ribbon Week- drug awareness week that when discussing drinking and driving announced to the class that his daddy was a safe drinker and driver because he poured his beer into a cup before getting into the car and driving).

    And then....I had kids of my own and well, I wish I could go back and take back almost every single thought I had about those poor kids and their mommies.

    And now, I lose my shmidt occasionally, feed them crap occasionally, forget to do homework with them sometimes, and well, do little more than keep them alive. And that's why my first prerequisite when researching for who I am going to "request" for my short people as their teacher is....PARENT. I know they won't likely judge most of what I'm doing if they are, ya know?

    I am sure you are an AWESOME teacher and friend, but I guarantee that you will become an even more awesome teacher if you choose to become a parent. It happened to me...Good luck to you!

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  28. Just wanted to let you know that you might come to appreciate butt-crack stretchy pants if you realize that the reason we parents put our kids in them is so that the kids don't come bugging you to unbutton, unsnap, or unhook their pants before each bathroom visit and then do it back up afterwards. Those butt-cracks are our gift to you! Of course, we could all start using fastened pants, but I think you'll be longing for crack in no time flat!! :-)

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  29. Wonderful post! It's scary to think of how many things people might know about me ... and my daughter's only TWO! The worst is yet to come...

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  30. I love the feedback - the positive & the not so positive. I guess I should have stated more bluntly that I take what kids say with a grain of salt. I know kids are full of it (how do you think they're so good at being full of it as adults?!) I was told by a student once that her brother got lost in Wal Mart and they called her Mom's name on the intercom and the police took her away because she couldn't find him and daddy (who is in Iraq) had to fly back to pick her up and they stayed in Wal Mart all night. So I know that sometimes kids are full of schmidt when they tell me your age... But we do have emergency care cards. So I also know that sometimes, they're spot ON.

    That being said - I want to point something out. If your child comes home & says something weird, something out of the ordinary, & the hairs on the back of your neck stand up for any reason, CONTACT THE TEACHER! A few Moms in the comments above have said that their kids are coming home with wild stories (a warning to me & fellow teachers, to a certain extent, to not always believe what they say), but don't underestimate your kids. If they're acting weird one afternoon, no matter how insignificant it may really seem, that doesn't mean they don't have something big going on behind the scenes. And kids are not always forthcoming with their teachers.... They lie so they don't get in trouble when in reality they didn't do something wrong. I had a parent call me because her daughter told her that a girl pushed her on the playground and called her a mean name, and why didn't I do anything about it? Well, like many things that happen on the playground, I unfortunately didn't see it. Her daughter never came to me with the issue - which, trust me, would have been dealt with immediately. I was so grateful that the Mom called me, because I was able to talk to both girls about the incident, and (luckily) both girls were honest and open about the incident.

    Some Moms get overzealous with emails, but I'd rather have that than a Mom whom I never hear from. Bug the teacher if something seems off, FIGHT for your kid. I've had some parents tell me they're embarrassed to keep emailing me. "Sorry for another email," "I hate to bother you again..." Don't ever apologize to your teacher about being concerned for your kid. Ever. I'll advocate as much for your kid as I have to, as much as I can, I'm in your corner with you, 100%.

    Teacher Gifts. I have no simple answer for this, sorry. Every teacher is different. My opinion, though? GIFT CARDS! They're fabulous. Anywhere. Panera. Borders. Staples. Chili's. Starbucks. iTunes (my personal favorite). Bed Bath & Beyond. Target. The VISA or Mastercard gift cards. They're all fan-damn-tastic. "Stuff" gets overwhelming... and I have a strong dislike for ANYTHING apple related (I taught for a year. I already have an overdose.)
    But in all honesty, the gifts that really got to me and meant the most were hand-made cards from the kids, or really nice cards from the parents. Two parents in my class made me cry from the notes they wrote to me at the end of the year. I'll take more away from those than any of the gift cards or chocolates or cookies.

    To the posters who are annoyed that another non-parent is telling you how to parent - I'll be the first to say I cannot do what you do. I'm not ready. I know this because I watch you - at school, the mall, the pool, camp, the drive-thru, the Metro.... You're superheroes who have never been given the credit you deserve. Keep fighting, getting in people's faces, & getting as many people in your kid's corner as you can. They deserve it.

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  31. I can't wait until Bride becomes Mommy.

    ...and yes, I did have a long response typed out but I figured the above sentence would work much better. I seriously can't wait! Ha ha ha ha ha

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