You may have a bit of prep time, but almost immediately after arriving at work, you’re likely to be greeting children and trying to welcome them to school in a way that makes them excited to be there and OK with the impending departure of their mom or dad.
Amid rushed exchanges with parents on their way to work, you might be entrusted with a bottle of cough syrup to be given after lunch, notes on how that child’s morning is going (“Today’s gonna be a rough one”), or instructions such as “Please make sure she has a nap today,” or conversely “Please make sure she does NOT have a nap today.” These are just a few examples of the information you’re expected to keep in your brain about each child.
The comfort of their My Little Ponies and granola bars already seems like a distant memory. They hesitantly scan the playground for allies, even as the croissant crumbs from their one-on-one bakery date with Mom still cling to their lips.
They find themselves in a bustling playground full of competitors for toys and attention. Some are thrilled to see friends and hop on the playground equipment, but others find the transition less joyful.
Torn from a world where they were special, the center of attention, they are thrust into the harsh new reality of school, where they’re no more important than any other child.
They fear it, hate it, and don’t fully grasp the concept. At our school (and at many others), we start each day with Circle Time.
When you work as a preschool teacher (as with any other job), the first half hour or so after arriving at work is mostly spent waiting for the coffee to kick in.
You are still adjusting to being awake and out in the world. However, unlike someone in a non person-facing job, who might be able to ease into their day by answering emails and spending a few minutes scanning the day’s headlines, all in the comfort of their own chair and desk while sipping a mug of their caffeinated beverage of choice, a preschool teacher does not have that luxury.
It is in these first moments of the day that a teacher must spring into action.
The start of your day could very well look like this: Morning is the most chaotic part of the day for a preschool teacher.
We typically start by singing songs about greeting the day and each other, and about the seasons of the year.