Sunday, November 18, 2012

the MANY roles of a preschool teacher

i am a preschool teacher. my day is so busy. it is often a whirlwind. i was thinking about how many different roles i (and my lovely co-workers) have. we are not just teachers, my friends. we do so many things throughout the day, from greeting parents to fixing boo-boos.

so, this is my (short) list of the many roles of a preschool teacher...

greeter. every morning, noon and night we greet parents (and little ones) when they come into the classroom. we ask how they are doing. we are there to welcome them into our classroom.

lunch lady. we serve three meals at our school. some days it feels like 1345 meals. we have to clean the tables, set out utensils, plates, cups, blah, blah, blah.. and then we  have to serve all the food. and of course, if billy wants seconds, we serve seconds. then, once the eating is over, we get to clean up the mess.

janitor. this really needs no explanation. i hope.

disciplinarian. preschoolers are no joke. they bite. they yell. they talk back. but most of this is because they have not learned how to communication in more socially acceptable ways. and all these other ways of communicating for them is all they know ...and they know it works. however, we must be the one who tells them they can't do that and teach them the right way.

nurturer. preschoolers are also very emotional. they miss their mommies. they get upset when a toy is taken from them. scraps are life-altering events for them. so we are there to love on them and make everything right. we give hugs and TLC. we are by their side and give them support through that rough moment, whatever it may be.

boo-boo fixer. a bandaid and ice can fix almost any boo-boo in the world of a preschooler.

garbage lady. i take the trash out far more than i would ever imagine necessary.

milestone witnesser. preschoolers have ALL kinds of milestones while at school. walking. talking. writing. potty training. it is exciting for a teacher to see those milestones and celebrate in them with our preschoolers.

crisis manager. crises can arise fast (illnesses, disagreements among classmates). we have to think fast and act even faster to keep the calm.

creators. i don't do this as much as my co-workers do. however, they must create stuff almost on a daily basis from bulletin boards to newsletters to art projects. and they are awesome at it!

confidants. preschoolers have lots to stay. teachers are there for preschoolers to tell them all of those things they just have to stay. (whether is it true or not, that is another story).

this list probably could go on for miles. being a preschool teacher takes a special kind of person who is willing to change their role constantly to fit the need of their classroom and their preschoolers. that is what makes a great teacher. someone who is willing to be the garbage lady, but also someone who the kids know will always be there to fix their boo-boos and to give them hugs when they need them. those are probably some of my favorite moments of my job :)