Yesterday was the first day of my new job as a teacher in a day care (although my official title is Assistant Teacher), working with Pre-K (which means that many of them are actually three at the moment and will be turning four sometime this year). I think I'll like the job, although getting used to teaching little ones is a bit of a challenge: I know nothing about children's songs or what to sing with them and little of what's available to me in the classroom in terms of activities (although that's being rectified pretty quickly). I was given a schedule during my interview week before last, but the activities that we actually do don't seem to align (in my mind) with what they're called, but I suspect that's due to my own lack of ECE background.
It took the morning for the kids to get used to me (and for me to get used to them), but by afternoon things were going more smoothly. (And also, I'm going to be a complete pushover; it's just a matter of time.) By the end of the day yesterday:
* One little girl admitted she was always scared of new people, but once she got used to them, things got better. I agreed, and said I was the same way. She looked at me, squinted a bit, and nodded slowly (approval won).
* Another little girl hugged me several times and let me carry her around.
* Several kids offered random tidbits of very useful information, like the names of siblings, what they were getting for Christmas, and examples of their artistic and creative brilliance.
* One little boy, overhearing music playing in the background, asked me what a booty was. (Seriously, why is a song that mentions that even being played on Disney-approved radio? Do these people not know that kids overhear everything?)
* Another little boy, having gotten whacked with some blocks, tugged on my shirt and looked up at me with huge watery brown eyes about the size of his head to tell me what happened (leaky nose and everything). I picked him up, we sat down on one of those little chairs that are not designed for adults, and we just cuddled for a bit. The director of the center, Jacquie, walked by and guffawed ("That kid is about to fall asleep on you.").
By the end of the day today, a few of the kids were crawling all over me and giggling madly. It's easy to be silly. (Also, dramatic flair is always good to have in situations when they attempt to put plastic food toys on your feet.) Booty boy only mentioned his new favorite word in passing.
* I was greeted at the door of my classroom by M., who ran up to me grinning happily, arms outstretched for a welcoming hug.
* A few of the boys deemed kisses icky (but caused massive fits of giggles if another boy got kisses), although kisses from mommies and daddies were nice (maybe - depending on the boy who volunteered his approval or disapproval).
* One boy informed me that he was not a darling or a sweetie, thank you very much. Ahh, boys.
* Four boys were happily engrossed in playing with a rather pink dollhouse.
They don't need to know that all they have to do is hug me to get me all mushy. Probably better they don't know that right away anyway.