Children's Learning Power
Working at a preschool for two weeks stretched the limits of my patience, but it also turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. Each day was full of surprises, ranging from slapstick mischief to amazing breakthroughs in the children's learning power. The kids' energy levels raised my own, and I felt a curious mixture of exhaustion and elation upon leaving the parking lot each day. I don't think I would choose this as a long-term profession, but as a short-term gig it was a memorable, educational, and messy experience. Each day I dressed carefully because I knew the potential risk of getting filthy when playing with kids. In fact, on my first day I changed my clothes about three times before deciding upon an outfit that was sufficiently comfortable and easily washable. I fully expected to be fingered with finger paints and doused with dirt from the playground at unexpected moments and in unexpected places. I donned jeans or shorts and an old tee-shirt each day, preferably dark colors. I drove to the school every day and parked in their small, six-spot lot. I often arrived as some of the parents dropped off their wee ones and placed them in our care. As a preschool, we served a dual purpose: day ca
However, thekids always kept me on my toes. As soon as I saw how much energy Tommy had, I reverted to three yearsold myself. However, some of my beststories came from working with Tommy. This proved all the better forme, who can't sit still while watching television anyway. I can't count the number of times childrenthrew things at me not out of hostility but simply because they wanted toplay. And then there was Annabelle, who stole my heart. She walked around the room or the playground eager to share her toys orplay make-believe games. Children, without knowing acceptednorms of behavior, often shock or annoy me. I relished those moments because it enabled me to understand theiroffspring better as well as glean what kinds of expectations the parentshad of our school. " I laughed, knowing that kids will always be kids. Tommy became myplaymate from that first day onwards; there were times he got on my nervesand I had to verbally scold him, but his smile disarmed me every time. Most ofthe parents were in too much of a hurry to chat, but occasionally afriendly mother or a father would strike up a conversation before leaving. Sheeven seemed interested in me personally and would innocently inquire aboutmy own life. Or, he could knock over thechair before you sit down.
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