Kids / School

The other side of preschool

I’m not a preschool teacher, but I teach preschool.  I mean to say that I don’t have a background in education or child development but I spend every morning with children.  It’s not that I discount all that I do in our classroom, but I have mad respect for those teachers who have their degrees and their qualifications and their preschool Pinterest boards with all the fine motor building crafts and pre-reading activities.

I do my best to contribute, and I do have a good time with the kids.  Preschool is the only place where I can turn everything I say into a jingle without anyone thinking it strange.  Why, every morning is an operetta for little people with notable numbers such as PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE WALL and CLEAN UP.  CLEAN UP.  EVERYBODY.  EVERYWHERE.  And everyone’s favorite, WASH, WASH, WASH YOUR HANDS.  In between, I lace all sorts of songs in between activities that sometimes rhyme and sometimes make sense but always entertain.  I think teaching preschool allows me to get all my sillies out.  And wiggle my waggle away, too.

And you know what else it does?  It makes me realize that I might not have been the model preschool parent.  To all the preschool teachers we’ve known and loved, I must say:

  • I’m sorry that it seemed that I didn’t care what my children were doing as long as I had somewhere to dump them.
  • I’m sorry that I didn’t label every jacket or glove or hat or sock!
  • I’m sorry that I did not always send them to school with weather appropriate clothing … that fit.
  • I’m sorry their backpacks were cuter than they were functional.
  • I’m sorry that I occasionally sent them to school when they were sick – infecting the other children and their teachers.  I’m really sorry.
  • I’m sorry if I didn’t gift you generously during the holidays and at the end of the year.  I’m really, really sorry.
  • And also thank you for never making me feel bad about the aforementioned transgressions and of course for everything you did to provide them with a nurturing foundation … as well as someplace I could dump them.


I hope I’m just as nurturing to our preschool parents as our teachers were towards me.   I never realized that preschool teachers are holding parents’ hands just as much (if not more often) as children’s.  And that’s why it’s so important to wash them properly, boys and girls!




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  1. Love this. I volunteered one day in my daughter’s preschool (one day!) and that was enough to show me that there is a reason everything needs to be labeled, and maybe labeled a second time just to be sure.

    • I arm myself with a Sharpie and do my own labeling for those who ignore my gentle reminders! And on behalf of your daughter’s preschool teachers, thank you.

  2. I was in third grade when I announced to my mother that I had no hats, mittens, or sweaters. Sure she had bought me many, she sent me back to my room to find them. I came out empty handed. Sure enough, none there. Or anywhere in the house.

    My Mom went to school to the Principal’s office where the lost-and-found was kept. She carefully sorted through the box and folded almost every sweater in it. She made a nice pile of hats and mittens too. The secretary, finally unable to stay silent, announced that this was the lost-and-found not a free-for-all. My Mother had to admit that everything in the pile was in fact mine.


  3. Will you be releasing a Best of Ms. Deborah’s Classroom Songs CD any time soon?

  4. This aunt of a child with hyperinsulinism says please PLEASE remember that one about sending your kid to school when they’re sick. A minor bug for one child could send another to hospital with crashing blood sugars.

    (But I also appreciate that sometimes you just have no other options.)

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