Kindergarten teacher

I love to be a teacher. I especially love teaching young children. From mid-August until mid-June, I get to know my class of kindergarteners very well, and they get to know me very well too.
For example, I know that after recess they will forget at least one step of the following post-recess procedure: 1) put away the outside toys 2) get a drink of water 3) sit down on the carpet.
And, in turn, they know that I will remind them of this very complicated routine every.single.time. With a big smile. Or at least a big facial expression of some kind.
I think kindergarten is fun because every day there’s something new to say to my students, such as “please stop licking your pants” or “I am not a Kleenex” or “legos aren’t food” (these are actual things I have said this week).
Not only that, young children are always happy to see you. Whether they find you at the grocery store, the beach or simply coming out of the bathroom beside their P.E. class, they will scream your name and act like you are a celebrity or at least a well-loved aunt whom they haven’t seen since last year.
And that’s nice, because if you are a teacher and also a parent, your own children aren’t always glad to see you on school premises. In fact, it almost seems like they might prefer having a bit of space when you go to their table at lunch and ask them how the grilled cheese sandwich held up since you made it last night. Being a kindergarten teacher means that twenty children want you to come and sit with them and see each and every item in their lunch bags.
It also means that, in June, it will be time to fit them for the world’s tiniest graduation cap and toga. It means that they are going to walk down a big, scary aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance”, walking in a comically straight, heel to toe line because you told them just to follow the center line of the basketball court. They will not be able to smile because a) they’ll be nervous with all the eyes on them and b) they will be concentrating on the post-Pomp and Circumstance instructions (knowing that Miss Leza has some strong feelings about these).
It means that I’ll be passing off some kiddos that seem way too small for the big school. I’ll be expected to give a speech but I won’t be able to, and I’ll force my principal (emcee extraordinaire) to choke out a truly emotional bit that I’ve written for them.
Yes, it’s true. I always cry on graduation day, because look at them, sitting there in the front, so full of hopes and dreams and the wiggles. Scratching through their togas. Giggling through their fingers. Definitely touching the person beside them (because I’m on stage handing out diplomas and thus helpless to stop them).
And that’s the joy of being a teacher. You spend so much time with these children that you know them well, and they know you. They come to you with all of their deepest hurts (“our dog died and I’m sad”), their greatest joys (“my daddy took me to Avengers and then we had pizza and then he bought me a LOL Surprise.”), and just every little thing that comes into their heads (“Hey, that was like back when the dinosaurs were alive! Like when you were in school, Miss Leza”).
And, in turn, you get to learn about how to be a better person, and how to give a little bit more. You learn how to receive love that you don’t always deserve, and you try to be worthy as often as you can. And, at the end of all these lessons, you learn to be brave, so you can let them go.