Yesterday was our kindergarten graduation. Always a bittersweet day, here some highlights.
- There’s nothing much cuter than new dresses and new dress shirts on kindergartners.
- Practicing our songs in the morning, a certain kindergarten teacher had a mini panic attack when the entire class forgot the second verse of ‘Rags’ – a song we’ve sung all year long.
- When you realize that every other class is having some sort of celebration around the same time as yours, don’t worry about parking… Just email all parents and ask them to take said parking chaos into consideration.
- Realize when your female teaching partner comes back from changing into a dress, a little boy saying, “You look like a cow!” is probably not a good thing… For the record, her dress was black and white – prompting the comment.
- When you emerge from the bathroom wearing a dress shirt and khaki pants and every child swarms to tell you how ‘handsome’ you are, it’s most likely a sign that all the t-shirts and shorts you’ve been wearing the past few weeks have washed away the fact that you wore the same dress shirt and khaki pants all year long until it hit eighty degrees.
- When, not one, but two little boys have a clothes crisis (scissors and chocolate milk), be sure to start the phone calls to their mothers with ‘He isn’t hurt’ – Both moms arrived with new shirts and for the record, kindergarten moms ROCK. Also of note – no wardrobe malfunctions for the girls.
- When you walk the class down to the cafe-gym-atorium a full half hour before the ceremony begins to set up, do not be surprised to see almost all of the parents there ready and waiting for you… after all, you warned them about the parking.
- When planning your outfit for the celebration, don’t forget that while your classroom is air conditioned and cool, the cafe-gym-atorium is not. You will be sweating. You will be shiny. Get over it.
- Don’t forget the extension cord for the boom box in the classroom. If you do, when you realize you’ve forgotten it moments before you need to hip play, you’ll have to run back to your classroom on the other side of the school making yourself even sweatier.
- When kneeling down for pictures with every child after the celebration, try not to worry about the pain in your knees on the hard tile floor. Remember why you’re here and the smiles will be natural.
- Don’t imagine you’re the President or Lady Gaga when the flashes from the cameras temporarily blind you.
- When the dust begins to settle and your realize one little boy had nobody show up, do not let his tears make you cry too. Take his hand, walk him back to class and offer him a chocolate pudding from your secret stash. Since naturally he’s on the last bus, sit next to him, put your arm around his shoulders and read books with him until his bus is called to distract him from being sad.
- When his bus is finally called and he leaves, remember this is why you teach. You teach for the one kid who is alone after everyone else has left with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. You teach so you can give him a pudding, read with him, and make him feel better.
Monday is our last day. It’s never easy and when I finally say my last goodbyes and get in my car to go home, I fully expect to shed a tear or two.