Preschool. And me. Together. For the first time in… 26 years?
Age range was between 4 and 5. I thought I could handle it. I thought right. However some of the things the regular teachers had to do were definitely out of my comfort zone (i.e. underwear full of shit and … just that, really).
Fortunately I was one of three teachers in the room and really just supervised throughout the day.
As soon as I sat down when the day began a little girl walked over to me with a smile only bigger than her outstretched arms and exclaimed in the most trusting and gleeful manner possible: “Can I have a hug?” as she was walking toward me. It was hardly a question. It was GOING to happen, according to her. My first impulse: Don’t touch the children! My second impulse: Don’t make them feel unaccepted!! We hugged. Then I got arrested. Noticing her hug a young boy followed her lead and approached me the same way. I hugged him as well then got arrested a second time.
Kids are nice. I realized that kids at this age are probably the nicest version of people that we as a species have to present. Thus far, generally, people have been nice to them their entire life. Wherever they go they’re often met with smiles and positivity from strangers, and usually only exposed to happy things on TV. But they see people as a collectively nice group of animals (which is not at all true, thought I like to think most of us are and it’s just the meanies that get all the news media attention making us nicies think we’re outnumbered when we’re not, how mean of them!!). But to kids? We’re all pretty nice. Think about making eye contact with a random child out in the world. In many cases you’ll smile or make a funny face if you have a soul that is. Now think about making eye contact with a random stranger out in the world. Usually we look away immediately, pretend it didn’t happen or sometimes give a slight head not to communicate “I’m not afraid of you please don’t kill me”… my mother always told me “Just smile.” Yeah, easy for her to say. I, unfortunately, am not a lovely lady. A smile from me to a criminal-type would definitely be perceived as a threat of some kind.
These kids have yet to be exposed to how rude and mean people can be to each other; they have no concept of race and are completely free from prejudice. Makes me wonder when that all officially changes.. history class? The People’s History version that is.. a book which I’ve yet to get through the first two chapters of as 1. it’s so awful what “morals” this country is founded upon and 2. reading is hard. I need to make time for it. I have plenty of time to read, never do. My bookshelf embarrasses me every time I look at it. fuck my bookshelf. I hate it. For now. Until I read everything on it which at this rate will be in 600 years. C’moooon science. Keep me alive ’til then.
Some of the kids were mean to each other without realizing it. Saying someone couldn’t play with them because, “He never listens to the rules!” or “I’m Elsa and she’s the other one and there’s no more princesses she can be!” which are legitimate reasons to exclude, but to which I responded “If you’re playing a game where not everyone in your group can participate then you need to find a way to include everyone or pick a different game”—a moment that certainly changed all their lives for the better. A life lesson they’ll never forget. Yes I’m sure of it.
I get why people teach. Especially at this age. So much love that goes around. I found myself wanting for the kids acceptance. When I didn’t get it, like, when I come back into the room after taking my lunch and they all don’t go “YAAAY!!” yeah, it hurt a little. Reminded me of when I was actually in preschool……..at time at which I have no memories because I obviously blocked them out. Wait. One memory. Naps. Ahhh naptime.. I was wishing for that today. Jobs should have naps. 30 minute napbreak after 60 minute lunch. ThAt’s how life should be.. I mean, we’re all still children, really. Just look at Congress.
Strangest quote of the day: While swinging (on the swing (at recess)) a kid said to the next kid waiting, “Do you want me to peel my skin off???” He said it about a dozen times. Finally some other kid responded, “If you really want to..” while looking down, playing in the sand. That was weird. and graphic.
Also I went to get lunch and saw this storefront, as pictured below. Yeah free country and all, but the school’s been there for 36 years. This place seemed rather newish. Not sure how I feel about this being in walking distance of a preschool.. Actually I’m quite sure—I’m against it. Am I gonna do anything about it? Nope. Is anyone? Def not. Are the kids going to be traumatized by it? Pfshh no… Have they seen worse things on YouTube? Probably definitely. Will they get a little taste of culture by looking at this storefront and grow up with a greater sense of acceptance for things they don’t understand? I’d like to think so. Should this store be located in walking distance of a preschool? I’m not against it…