A Self-Sustaining Meal

, , , , | Learning | September 11, 2018

(Lunch is over in our toddler classroom, and we are putting the kids down for nap time. It’s fairly dark with the lights off, and my co-teacher and I are sitting on the floor patting the backs of toddlers. My co-teacher looks around me.)

Co-Teacher: “Hey, what is [Child] eating?”

(This child’s nap time mat is near the lunch table, and he will sometimes eat off the floor if we miss something during clean-up. I turn to look at him. He takes his fingers out of his mouth, gets a refill, then puts his fingers back in his mouth.)

Me: “Boogers.”

Co-Teacher: “Gee… Glad I asked.”

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Macar-irony

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 28, 2018

My wife is a preschool teacher. While attending a seminar, she heard this story from a lecturer:

“We used to use macaroni glued to paper for art projects. One day I noticed my aide digging through the garbage for macaroni. She explained that she would soak it off the paper to feed her family, as she was on a tight budget. I felt bad that we were using food for art while others went hungry. So, we no longer use any foodstuffs in our art.”

The lecturer seemed very proud of herself, and never saw the irony.

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Barbie Is Pooped

, , , | Learning | July 16, 2018

(I teach toddlers at a preschool. Being toilet trained is required for moving up to the next class. Some of my students of late have stubbornly refused to become trained, so I’ve stepped up my toilet training curriculum. We talk about the process frequently and read little books on the subject. As a result, they’ve become more interested. The bathroom in my classroom is just big enough to contain a toilet, a sink, and a chair for the teacher, and is open to the classroom. One of my students runs into the bathroom with a naked Barbie doll. She bends the legs and sits the doll on the edge of the toilet.)

Toddler: “Teacher [My Name]! Barbie go potty!”

(It’s a little weird, but she’s interested, so I decide to encourage it.)

Me: “Good job, Barbie!”

Toddler: “Barbie go poop now!”

Me: “That’s awesome! Barbie will get a sticker for going potty!”

(I found this hilarious, so I took a picture of the scene to send to her mother later. In the half-second I turned to set the camera on my desk behind me, the student generously gave Barbie a dip in the toilet. She proudly held up the dripping doll. I completed Barbie’s spa treatment with a liberal spray of bleach water and soap. Toddlers are fun.)

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This Is Preschool, Not Princess School

, , , , , , | Learning | June 25, 2018

I’m an assistant at a preschool. At the beginning of the school year we send a form home with all our families asking about the attending child’s favourite things — songs, foods, games, and so on — so we can make our classes more comfortable for the kids. These are phrased as, “My child’s favourite songs are…” “My child’s favourite games to play are…” and so on.

We received a form back that had every single, “My child,” crossed out, with the child’s name written over the top. The final question, “When my child is upset, they are comforted by…” was answered with, “By being RESPECTED as an INDIVIDUAL. She is not a ‘they,’ she is a ‘she,’ and she has a NAME. She is not ‘my child.’ She is not property. She is her own individual person.”

The child was withdrawn from the center after seven very long weeks of the parent showing up at random times to collect her, the parent coming in to drop off hot chocolate at lunch for her on several occasions, and a written complaint about how her daughter’s handprint “leaf” was positioned on the “class tree” display. (It was not on the top branch.)

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An Earth-Shaking Revelation

, , , , , | Learning | June 22, 2018

I work in an international preschool in Japan, teaching three-year-olds. As a combination of their age and English being their second — or third — language, their understanding of things can be rather skewed, and funny as a result.

We have an earthquake drill one day, the first one that my class has ever done. I talk about it beforehand to make sure they have a general idea of what to do. I explain earthquakes in a very basic, kid-friendly way, emphasizing the shaking and “things breaking and falling” aspect, and areas of the room to stay away from, for safety. I remind them that it is all pretend, but important to remember in case of a real earthquake in the future.

The drill begins after lunch, and we make our way outside once the alarm stops ringing. They all find it very funny to wear the safety cushions to protect their heads, but there is minimal messing around. We make sure everyone is accounted for, and head back inside. One of my kids starts pointing around and speaking Japanese in astonishment, saying, “The building didn’t fall down! Nothing is broken?” I think maybe she expected the earthquake to happen inside the school, while we were outside?

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