Tag Archives: kindergarten

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time


With the last day of school quickly approaching, I thought it would be cute to make autograph books for my kindergarten students so they could write little “have a nice summer” and “I’ll miss you” messages to their friends.

But that was before I discovered that Caleb, our precious son, signed the book of every girl in class the same way:

“Your one Hot MaMa!  lovE, Caleb”


I expect the parent phone calls to begin any moment now.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure what to address first: the appropriate way to talk to girls, or the grammatical difference between “you’re” and “your”.


Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!



The Cat in the Hat visited our school this morning.  His arrival capped off a week long celebration of the amazing works of the Cat’s beneficent creator, Dr. Seuss.  Students and staff were encouraged to dress up as characters from Dr. Seuss books, resulting in a colorful invasion of Grinches, Cindy Lou Whos, and Thing Ones and Thing Twos.  The Cat himself handed out prizes to the winners of the coloring and trivia contests, and every child received an autographed bookmark to take home.


Even though they knew it was a costume day, several of my students seemed taken aback when they walked in to find their normal teacher replaced by this strange creature:


I’m not sure who I intended to be, but one of the other teachers dubbed me Mrs. Grinch, so let’s go with that.  All I know is that when life hands you the opportunity to wear a neon green beehive wig, you don’t pass it up.

A Pox on Thee, Dav Pilkey!


This morning after recess, we took a few minutes out of class time to practice for the talent show.  With the big night only two weeks away, the kids have been buzzing with excitement, visions of their own American Idol moments dancing through their heads as we work on our bring-down-the-house kindergarten musical numbers: Magalena Hagalena, Grandpa’s Farm, and the class favorite, Fishy.

“Have you ever seen a fishy on a hot summer’s day?

Have you ever seen a fishy out swimming in the bay?

With his hands in his pockets and his pockets in his pants,

Have you ever seen a fishy do the Hootchie-Kootchie Dance?”

We’ve sung it a thousand times, but during today’s practice session, the giggles and squeals grew progressively louder, exceeding the usual gleeful enjoyment that accompanies each child’s personal interpretation of the “Hootchie-Kootchie Dance.”

I looked around for the source of the uproar, and there he was.

My son.

His jeans were puddled down around his knees, his Disney Cars underwear boldly flashing back and forth as he clapped in time to the song’s rowdy chorus.

“Caleb!” I screeched.

The note of hysteria in my voice finally penetrated the cloud of delighted chaos that had overtaken the class at the sight of one of their classmates in his underwear.  A hush descended as they all waited to see what hideous repercussions might befall the perpetrator of such a shocking act.

What are you doing?” I hissed.  “Pull your pants up!  Why are you doing that???”

He did as I asked.  Finally, nearing tears, he explained, “Mom, I was just showing everybody the Underpants Dance!”


Oh, no.

Oh, no, no, no.

I recognized that dance.  Somewhere inside, I had always known that my carefree, lackadaisical attitude toward juvenile reading material would one day come back to haunt me.  As it turned out, today was that day.

My baby, my precious little boy, had been hopelessly corrupted…by Captain Underpants.

I tried to continue with the class, but, as with a natural disaster or a cataclysmic world event, there was no going back to normal life without a pause for closure.  We finished singing our other songs, and I looked around to see Caleb, dejected, staring at the floor, barely moving his lips.  As the class took their seats, I gently asked him, “What’s wrong, bub?”

“I’m embarrassed about myself, Mom.”

“It’s okay, buddy,” I reassured him with a hug, having had enough time to recover my own composure.  “You didn’t know.  And everybody in here still likes you just fine.  Right, class?”

“Right!” they echoed dutifully.

“For future notice, though–and this is a rule for everyone,” I emphasized, raising my gaze to take in the entire room, “Underwear is private.  You’re not supposed to show it to anyone else.  Okay?”


And just like that, it was over.  We moved on to math, and the incident wasn’t mentioned again all day.

Still, a part of me is waiting for that phone call from an irate parent demanding to know just what kind of talent show we’re running here.

Cute Kids


Reading Corner

From the first week of school:

*While reading a story about pythons on the reading carpet, a felt a tap on my knee and looked down into Andy*’s mischievous grin.  “Hey, teacher, do you want to see a python in real life?”  “Um, I don’t know,” I hedged.  “Because if you do, I’ve got one RIGHT HERE,” he continued, pointing with a flourish to his tiny curled bicep.  I tried to look impressed, hoping he didn’t notice I was choking on a laugh.

*Little Kyra was in tears, and I was the duty teacher on the playground.  “What’s wrong?” I asked, and she informed me that she only had “one friend in this whole school, and she’s playing with somebody else!”  I told her that she might only know one person so far, but that there were lots of girls in our class that would love to be friends with her.  As if on cue, sweet, quiet Brandy, who had overheard us, stepped forward and said, “Hey, I want to be your friend, Kyra!  Let’s go play on the slides.”  And off they went.  I just stood there with my eyes tearing up, full of sweet gladness at being witness to such a moment.  I can see already that my students aren’t the only ones who will be learning a lot this year.

*Caleb brought Tiny Tiger to school for Show and Tell on Friday.  He told the kids a little about where he got him, and then delivered what he clearly considered the coup de grace:  “Watch what he can do!”  And with that, he seized Tiny Tiger’s tail and used it to execute a complex series of what I know were karate moves, complete with whipshot sound effects.  The kids laughed (and so did I, I admit.)  Caleb’s face creased in consternation as he admonished, “Guys, don’t laugh!  This is serious business!”

*After school on Thursday, as I stayed to finish up my prep for the next day, Caleb asked me if he could have some more of the Skittles I use to reward the kids for good behavior at the end of class.  I said no.  “Uh oh, Mom,” he said, “You just broke the Number One Caleb Rule.  It’s give Caleb whatever he wants all the time.  You get an ‘F’.”

So I survived the first week of school, but I got an F.  Look at it this way:  At least there’s room for improvement.


*Names of kindergarteners have been changed to thwart the papparazzi.

First Day


If the twelve students in my kindergarten class had a little pep in their step at the end of the day today, it was because they were sucking energy directly from me.  Seriously, I’m tired.  Who knew a few hours of herding five year olds could be so exhausting?

Oh, but it was fun.  I was right about that.  If I close my eyes, I can see those sweet cherub faces–so excited and nervous and mischievous and funny–and hear those sweet piping voices–asking question after question and bursting ardently in on my explanation of the short “i” sound to tell me all about the soft, fuzzy chicks they hatched in their preschool class last year.

It was chaotic, to be sure.  I imagine first days usually are.  There were parents to meet and supplies to collect and classroom rules to explain, and half of my carefully laid lesson plans went out the window in the dizzying rush of first day duties.  But there was also story time in the reading corner, where twelve pairs of eyes gazed with rapt attention at the same book and the hush of waiting for the unraveling of the next written word wrapped around us like the calm eye of a storm.  There was laughter and there were hugs, and I know that there will be more of both tomorrow.

I’m only beginning to know their names and their faces, but already I am praying for them, and praying that I’ll find the wisdom, patience, and knowledge to be the teacher they need this year.  After all, I’m the only one they get.


You know what?  I just realized that I still remember my kindergarten teacher…

Mrs. Edmundson.

Thank you, Mrs. Edmundson, wherever you are. (And I was telling the truth.  I really didn’t let that stray cat into the building on purpose.)



Well, here we are.  Tomorrow morning, bright and early, Caleb will start kindergarten.  And so will I.

What happened to the whole long summer that I had spread out in front of me?  I dipped my toe in the lake, slept a couple of nights in a tent, and suddenly twelve weeks have dwindled down to twelve short hours.

Tonight feels like that moment when you’re all strapped into the roller coaster car, just about to take off, and a large chunk of your brain is wondering what the heck you were thinking, knowing all the while that it’s already too late to get off the ride.

Don’t worry, I keep telling myself.  That’s the feeling you feel just before the fun begins.

Bits and Pieces


*I’d like to give a shout out to my awesome friend, Regina J, who, when she heard that I had finished the first three books in the Twilight series, offered to loan me her copy of the fourth one, but instead secretly went and ordered me my very own copy from Amazon. It arrived yesterday in the company of yet another book by the same author that I’ve been wanting to read! The riches!

How lovely is that? Of course, this means I’ll have to stop teasing Regina about her “allergy” to the post office (she usually saves up Christmas and birthday gifts between visits and showers us with them all at once and in person), since that nearly pathological aversion is probably partly responsible for the two beautiful new hardbacks sitting on my bookshelf right now.

And oh, they smell delicious! (Come on! I know I’m not the only book sniffer out there.)

*Today I got to talk with the mother of one of my new students. She wanted to meet me before finalizing her daughter’s enrollment in kindergarten. We had a nice visit and I tried not to feel like I was being tested as I answered questions about the curriculum and myself. (I think I’d give myself a B+.) So there you have it: I’ve already convinced one parent that I am an honest-to-goodness, bona fide teacher! Now I just have to convince a room full of five year olds and I’m gold.

*Speaking of teaching, Jen came in to the school today to officially pass the torch, showing me where to find all the supplemental teaching materials, answering the first hundred of my thousand questions, and revealing the top secret hiding spot for Kathy’s chocolate stash (you don’t keep track of how much is in there, do you, Kathy?) I feel like I’m stepping into big shoes, but Jen’s confidence in me also bolstered my own. And I have her cell phone number, for when I remember those other 900 questions.

*I just cracked open an egg for the veggie omelet I was making for lunch, and it had two yolks. Two yolks! Cool, huh? If I was Caroline Ingalls, I could charge Mrs. Oleson extra for that one.

Napkin News Report


Top Story:

After nearly a decade of stay-at-home-mom-itude, Katrina will be reentering the workforce this fall as a kindergarten teacher. Caleb’s kindergarten teacher. In fact, she is taking over the very position recently vacated by her good friend, Jen, who is currently turning her attention to caring for her beautiful new baby girl and homeschooling her sons. Following in Jen’s talented footsteps will not be easy. According to Katrina herself, she is anticipating her return to the classroom with a great deal of excitement and more than a touch of trepidation. Shedding some light on her deep feelings about the matter, Katrina opines: “Kindergarten. Whoa. That’s like…wow. You know?”

In Tech:

After a lengthy application and interview process, Paul has been hired by his current employer to take over the available supervisor position in the User Services department. His previous title of WuSS (Windows Support Specialist) has been replaced by a more respectable SIR (Supervisor of Implementation and Restoration.) It is a matter of note, however, that his wife Katrina has refused to address him as such. The position’s benefits include a higher salary and a bigger office that just begs for a life size cardboard cutout of Yoda to make it complete. According to geek sources, a scale replica of the Battlestar Galactica with working lights would also be acceptable.

Financial Report:

Due to the recent increase in the Napkin Household’s GFP (Gross Family Product), a move from their two bedroom apartment to larger accommodations is under consideration. Meetings have been scheduled with realtors and mortgage agents to investigate the possibility of buying a home, thereby gaining a yard, an extra bathroom, and another bedroom, allowing Caleb space to do his Crazy Pajama Dance without injuring his reluctant roommate. Should the Napkins not qualify for a home loan, their contingency plans involve appearing on Let’s Make a Deal, rendering aid to an anonymous millionaire stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire, and discovering an ancient and forgotten genealogical link to the royal family of Zanzibar, complete with attendant inheritance. At the very least, the rental apartment will be traded for a rental house. Preferably one with a giant garden bathtub where Katrina can relax after a long day of show and tell, phonics practice, and preventing acts of bloodshed on the playground.