Little footsteps walking around the room, sweet voices calling out your name, imaginative stories, laughter, giggling, whining, and from time to time—crying. These are the things a teacher hears every day.
Hi! I am Pomposa and I am a teacher. Being a teacher is what I wanted to do since I was young. And now, it is one of the reasons why I wake up every morning, face the day with a smile and make 22 kids laugh, learn and be fully equipped for their future.
Our day starts early and that means BREAKFAST! Yes, breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, especially for us teachers. My team and I eat our breakfast together in the morning. We need to make sure that we have the energy to keep up with our kids’ fully active bodies. They don’t only have energetic bodies, but they also have curious minds. And that means answering every question that they will throw at us. So we need to make sure we have the physical, mental, emotional and psychological strength that we need to go through our day. Breakfast and COFFEE help us on this matter.
Every morning we welcome our kids in the playground. This is the part where we discover how our day will turn out. If they are in a good mood when they enter the school, then it could mean the day will turn out good—but if they are not, we need to brace ourselves for the upcoming events inside the class.
Most of them will come to school happy. You know they’re happy and excited because they are literally hopping their way towards you and greeting you with the biggest smile in the world. Some will greet you like they didn’t see you the day before and some will be giggling while putting their bag in their cubbyhole. On a lucky day, specifically when mommy-drops-me-to-school-day, you will need to use your magic to make your activities sound like it is the best thing in the whole wide world and they should not miss it (it is helpful how parents cooperate when we do this.) Some days it works, but there are days that your teacher magic won’t work and you just have to explain that they will see mommy after class. Sounds easy? Of course it is! Well… you know… after tons of tissue and redirection, they will eventually stop.
Morning Circle is my favorite part of the day. This is the part where we get to know our students. We greet them good morning and encourage them to practice their conversation skills. Some kids would tell us stories about what they did over the weekend or the things that they did at home. It can be a simple sharing such as: what mommy prepared for their snack, or the show they watched at home. They also love to tell us what mommy or daddy tells them or does at home. Take note: Kids are very good observers—so parents, be careful, you never know when your kids are watching you or which story they’ll use to entertain us in class <wink>.
Since I teach pre-school, singing and dancing along with nursery rhymes is part of my life. It brings us great joy when we see our kids participating joyfully. At this age, they are still developing their muscle control, balance and coordination, so the way they copy our movement is still shaky but really cute and entertaining for us. I love watching them dance, especially when they are having fun. No matter how difficult the movements are, it is nice to see them try to move along with a smile on their face. It’s one of the things I’ve learned from the kids; enjoying life, even if it gets difficult. And I have 22 kids to remind me to enjoy life even at its toughest times.
Being a pre-school teacher doesn’t only mean singing and dancing all day long, but we also teach them serious stuff <smile>. We teach them basic academic skills such as phonics, counting, shapes and colors—all of these taught in a Montessori way. We have 5 learning centers, including: Language, Math, Sensorial, Culture, and Early Practical Life (EPL). We also help our students enhance their fine-motor skills such as tracing, writing, coloring, cutting and the like. This is not an easy task but we make it as fun as possible. This is the part that we call- ART TIME. At the start of the school year, Art Time is tiring and a bit frustrating for both the teachers and the kids, but as the days, weeks, and months go by, this becomes fun for everyone. How do we practice them? We let them play with play-doh, pegs, lacing activities or any activities that will let them use their little muscles. (P.S. Playing on an iPad or iPhone is not one of the activities.)
Teachers are excellent multitaskers and this skill is put to the test during Snack Time. You have to help one kid open their snack, while helping to feed another kid, plus looking over another that needs to go potty. Some kids finish their snack fast so when they do I will ask them to “read” a book, which for me means sitting down and enjoying the pictures in the book. Supposedly, this will give my team and I peace of mind while we help the rest of their friends finish their snack. But for the children reading a book translates to “get a book and run around in the class with that book.” So I constantly need to remind them that they need to sit quietly on their spot while they “read” a book.
Teachers also have eyes everywhere, especially during Outdoor Play. The kids love this time of the day because they are free to go play around the playground with little involvement from us. We simply supervise and look over them while they play happily with their friends. We need to look around making sure that they are all safe and no one is hurting anybody. It sounds easy, but I am telling you it is not. You have to constantly move around the playground checking that all your kids are safe while reminding them to play nicely. We are in responsible if something happens to them so we need to focus and be attentive to all the goings on in the playground. It is mentally and physically tiring but, then again, when you see them having fun, all of it is worth it.
These are the activities that we do every day and it goes on for the rest of the school year. After all our students have gone home, we stay in the school to prepare a new program for the following day. The life of a teacher is fun, but unlike what some people say, it is not JUST teaching. Yes, we might be playing, running and singing along with our students, but that is a small part of what we do. We are in charge of the big picture. We are teaching them the basic foundations in life that they need when they grow up. It takes a big heart and great amount of patience to become a teacher. It is every teachers’ passion to teach. Our students have a very special place in our heart. They are not just our students, they are like our own children that we LOVE just as every parent loves their own children.