Thursday, January 10, 2013

Revising my resolution/Moving Up Day 2013

I'd like to start this blog off by saying that I HAVE NOT forgotten to blog these past few days. I've been trying to post from both my phone and my iPad and haven't been able to. Each time I tried to it kept saying there was an error and it couldn't post my blogs. So, technically I guess I broke my resolution already even though I don't feel like that's the case. However, I am revising my resolution. Instead of blogging EVERY day I'm going to be blogging EVERY weekday. I find it hard to find a topic to write about each day and even when I do think of a topic, sometimes it's hard for me to write about it. I figure everyone deserves a couple days off. Now on to my blog for today....

I am a planner by nature. I like to know what's going on way ahead of time and outside of my classroom I am not a "go with the flow" type of person. I like to make lists and cross off things when I finish them. There's a sense of accomplishment that I feel when I cross something off. I like to be prepared and I like to be organized. Recently I've been doing a lot of brainstorming about Moving Up Day this year. I know that June seems like it's so far away and that it's crazy to be thinking about it already but trust me, it's not. Maddie and I started planning around March last year I believe and I didn't get half the things done that I wanted to. As we got to June last year everything felt so rushed and even though Moving Up Day was a hit with all the parents and staff I felt like it wasn't as perfect as I wanted it to be.

I've come up with a theme for this years ceremony; Reach for the Sky! We're going to be going with a rainbow color scheme again because it does lend itself to some pretty amazing decor and even more amazing candy buffet for the kids and parents to enjoy. We've picked a date, picked out colors for caps and gowns and even picked out songs. We've picked three really cute songs and then once special song that we're going to dedicate to the parents (that one's going to be a surprise though). We are doing a slide show, even though it will be nothing compared to last years since it's just me taking the pictures and not Maddie -ha. But pictures of kids are cute regardless, so I'm sure it'll be adorable! We've planned some decorations (those are the pictures that are in this blog, just ideas we've seen) and Pintrest is literally my best friend this time around.

I feel incredibly calm about this ceremony. Last year I was a ball of nerves from March to the day of Moving Up Day. It's a little joke at TLC that every big event that I have to speak at I lose my voice and it's totally true. Two Early Christmas Services in a row I lost my voice, and the past two Moving Up Days. Last Moving Up Day I barely made it though the ceremony and at the end I would try to talk and literally no words would come out. The day after the ceremony I went to visit my boyfriend at the time for four days who i hadn't seen in months; that was interesting. I couldn't talk to him for the first two days...thank god he was understanding. I'm hoping that the stress doesn't cause me to lose my voice this year. I would love to give an actual speech this year. I've done readings the past two years and left the speech up to Val but I feel like this time I'd love to write something. This is a very special class to me. It's the first group leaving that I've had from their first day in the Preschool Room. I'm incredibly attached to each of them and I'm sure I'm going to ball my eyes out when they leave, but that's a LONG WAY AWAY (YAY!).

I know it may seem crazy to the people reading this that I'm already planning for an event that is 5 months away but like I said I'm a planner by nature. I plan weddings, and I guess I plan Moving Up Days now. I'm buying a few things each week for the ceremony so I don't end up going broke in June -haha. We'll also start practicing songs much earlier so they really have them down by that day. In my mong I really didn't think that I would ever be able to top last years Moving Up Day but if this years goes off how I'm planning then I think it just might! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sick Day

I don't really have anything to blog about tonight. All I know is I have bronchitis and I've gotten nothing done for work that I wanted to get done today. But hey, everyone needs a sick day once and a while...right? I spent my day reading a great book (Hopeless by Colleen Hoover) and I'm spending my night watching cheesy chick flicks! Hopefully I'll be back to my normal self soon...

Friday, January 4, 2013


I'm going to be really cheesy right now and I'm going to "dedicate" this blog to my coworkers. Working in childcare can sometimes be a thankless job. We are our students second family pretty much. I'm sure most parents would love to stay home with their kids until they go to kindergarten but financially it usually isn't possible. Some kids in my class come full time, some part time but we take care of them while they're with us and their parents trust us to keep them safe, happy and make them feel loved. I've gotten lucky and have an AMAZING group of parents this year who are supportive, kind and constantly give us positive feedback. It means more to us then they'll ever know.

Now to my co-workers. Over the two years I've been back at TLC there have been quite a few people who have passed through the preschool room. When I took the head teacher job Bri started as my assistant. She and I clicked from day one. Our days were full of laughter with the kids, dance parties and blasting Kidz Bop cds. I cried pretty hard when she left but I know that we'll always be close. Maddie took over for Bri when she left for school. The funniest part about working with Maddie was listening to her do art with the kids. I think since she was an art major she always wanted their art projects to be perfect but anyone who's done art with a three year old knows that they never turn out perfect -ha! I will always consider Maddie one of my best friends. We went through a lot together, at work and outside of work. We planned an incredible Moving Up Day that I doubt I'll ever top. I cried a little on her last day and then the second I got into my car I lost it. Bri came back for the summer, which was great. It was an easy transition and the kids loved having her back. 

Once she left it was time to find a new assistant. That brings me to Emily. She loves Hello Kitty, so obviously we were a perfect match! She's so calm and patient with the kids, she's kind and funny. It's been great having her in the room and I'm so glad she chose TLC. Along with Emily we have some amazing part time people in our room too. Jess has been with us for a few months now and the kids gravitated towards her from the first moment. She is honestly one of the sweetest and most caring people I've ever met. Not a morning goes by that the kids don't ask, "Is Miss Jessica coming in today?" They really love her and so do I. Liv has been with us for over a year. I'm so at ease when I know she's going to be in the classroom. I know she'll be calm when she needs to be but she'll also be firm with the kids when she needs to be too. I'm pretty sure her plans are to go away to college after her senior year this year and. Can't even think about her leaving. I look at her like she's a little sister and can't imagine why it'll be like without her. Christine is also in our room quite a bit these days. She's so great with the kids. She's always moving around, giving equal attention to all of them and she's so kind to every child. I hope she sticks around for a,while! Oh, and Hannah is back again! She comes and goes since she goes to Potsdam. Hannah and I geek out over the same stuff (Harry Potter, LOTR, ect...). She's always singing with the kids too and if there is one thing our kids love to do, it's sing! I'll miss her a lot when she goes too.

Last but DEFINITELY NOT LEAST is Val. Val is the director and pretty much my older sister. I've known her since I was little since my mom and her used to teach together in the Preschool room. We were close when I was at TLC growing up but the the past two years we have become much closer. She busts her butt day in and day out and rarely hears thank you. She gives up time with her husband and children and she seems to always put TLC first (especially recently). She's a great director, but and even better teacher. I wish she had the time to be in a classroom because any child that would have her for a teacher would be an incredibly lucky child. If you're reading this Val, thank you,for every single thing you do. I love you.

Clearly we all don't do this for the money and the praise. We don't don't do this because it's an easy job. We teach children because we love it. We do it because it's what feels right. I know I do at least. I also know that I couldn't do my job if I didn't have each and every one of the girls I talked about above to help me. We definitely have a great group of kids and a creat group of parents, but we also have a great group of teachers.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The worst parts...

There a lot of tough things to deal with when you become a preschool teacher. Some days the kids are wild, some days they all seem to be at each others throats. Some days something goes wrong and you have to throw away the plans you had for the day and just go with the flow. None of those are the worst parts of the job. The WORST part of the job is being sick all the time. 

I spent 90% of last winter with no voice. I had bronchitis, I had the stomach bug a few times, strep and the flu. Obviously teachers aren't the only people who get sick because of their job. You could be in the most sterile environment on the planet and you will probably still get sick. This year has been no different. I've had the stomach bug, strep once and a nasty cold right now. I should definitely buy stock in Mucinex, Halls and Gatorade. 

I'm sorry I spent this blog post complaining. I should be talking about all the joys of teaching and how every minute of everyday is rewarding but honestly, some parts of this job suck. Anyone out there have any miracle cures or ideas to stay healthy this winter...?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I was thinking a lot about goals today. I have a few personal goals for myself but I also have some for the classroom. I think they have changed a great deal since last year.

I think that most people think that Preschool should be full of academics. I used to think the same. I thought I was a terrible teacher if the 4 and 5 year olds in my class couldn't identify all of their uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, colors and shapes. I used to think I was a terrible teacher if they couldn't print their first and last name perfectly and do simple addition.

A lot has changed in a year. My perspective has changed on what makes a good teacher. Now, I'll think I'm a terrible teacher if I have a classroom full of selfish kids. I'll think I'm a terrible teacher if every single kid in my class doesn't know how special and loved they are. I'll think I'm a terrible teacher if I don't tell them that every single day. Children have years of schooling to learn how to print perfectly and learn every single letter, number, shape and color. Those things are all still incredibly important to me and we will continue to work on them every day but to me it's more important that the children in my class are confident, caring, independent and loving little human beings. I don't think that those qualities are taught by doing worksheets and drilling them with flashcards. 

So I guess you could say that my number one goal for the classroom is to instill confidence in each child in my room. I will tell them every day that I love them and I think they are awesome. Of course they'll still learn their letters, they'll learn how to hold a pencil correctly and print their name. I may be biased but I really do think that I have the best group of preschoolers in the world. I think 2013 is going to be a great year for all of us!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blog 1 of 365...

One of my New Years Resolutions this year is to blog everyday. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have never kept a New Years Resolution more than two months. This year WILL BE different. There's a first time for everything right?

December was a fast and stressful month in the preschool world. There were many days that I wanted to rip my hair out but then came the day of our Christmas party. All the kids (and teachers) came to school in their pajamas; they were all so excited to show them off to their friends. We ended up with three kids in Spiderman pjs (my favorite superhero) and at least three girls in Hello Kitty pjs (another favorite of mine). I think I may be brainwashing these kids by accident...oops.

The morning flew by and it was time to open gifts. We had 16 kids there that day, each kid had one gift to open and when we said it was okay to open them, I kid you not, all 16 gifts were open in under ten seconds. It was INSANE! They all showed each other the gifts; I felt bad for the kid who opened the card stock we asked for when other kids got to open Legos, instruments and other toys. They didn't care what they opened though. Once it settled down all the kids cuddled up on their mats and we watched "Polar Express" and "Rudolf" in the big room on the big screen. I was sitting there in the middle of the kids and I realized how moments like these were why I love my job. Getting to see Christmas through the eyes of a 4 year old is much better than seeing it through my 25 year old eyes.

I'm looking forward to this year and dreading it at the same time. Emily, Jess and I have been brainstorming for Moving Up Day because even though it seems like its really far off the next few months are going to fly by and June will be here before we know it. We have 9 kids leaving for Kindergarten in the fall. Its crazy to think that almost half of our class will be gone in less than a year but that just challenges me to make as many memories as possible in the next 9 months. It is a challenge I will gladly take on along with blogging EVERYDAY of 2013!

Happy New Year Everyone :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go...

     I've had a lot of things going on in my life recently and for some reason or another it's caused me to become very nostalgic. One of my fondest memories of my last two years at TLC was the most recent Preschool Moving Up Day. It was a day that I stressed about constantly, but it ended up being possibly the best day I've had at my job in these past two years. Just because I started this blog months after Moving Up Day happened doesn't mean I can't talk write about it right?

     Maddie, my old assistant teacher ( and I had just finished a theme on Dr. Suess in our classroom when it hit me that "Oh, The Places You'll Go" would be a great theme for Moving Up Day. Many students of all ages are given this book when they graduate and I thought that it would be a very fun theme for the ceremony. I had done one Moving Up Day on my own before this one, and was part of many of the Moving Up Days prior to that one when I worked at TLC during college and high school but I felt like I really wanted to go all out for this one. The ceremony that I had planned the year before was nice, but in my opinion there was nothing too special about it. I knew that Maddie, being the artistic person that she is, would be all for making this a memorable and special day. We started brainstorming right away.
     Some people might say that we took on more than we could handle and I'd be lying if I said we did EVERYTHING that we wanted to do but we did do an incredible amount of work. We got to work a couple of months before Moving Up Day by planning the date, how we wanted to decorate, what songs the kids would sing, what gifts we would give them and finally what color caps and gowns we would have the kids in. We settled on June 22nd and decided that we were going to go with a rainbow color scheme. We checked out Pintrest for decoration ideas (I'm still not sure if that helped us or hurt us; tooooo many ideas, not enough time!) and picked three songs for the kids to sing. We decided on "We're All In This Together" from High School Musical (that was by far their favorite song!), "You'll Be In My Heart" by Phil Collins and my favorite, "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart.

 Now that all the planning was done we just needed to execute everything. About a month out we made a checklist and decided what exactly we needed to get done in that last month and what we were just going to decided not to do. We had the "graduates" do life size self portraits and we did a quote board filled with HILARIOUS things that the kids had said over the past year. We also did two Superlative boards with things like best hair, class couple, best laugh and many others. Maddie and I wanted to give the kids something they could hold on to as a gift so we decided to get each of the graduates a copy of "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and we signed each of them as well as the director, Val, who had been with the kids every step of the way and two of the other teachers that the children had had at TLC. They were a great keepsake in my opinion. The last two things we chose to add to the ceremony was a slide show with tons of pictures of the children and a "candy bar" that the kids could enjoy at the luncheon after the ceremony. We would have been stupid to not include a slide show in the ceremony since Maddie is such an incredible photographer and had taken so many beautiful pictures of the children ( and Everything was falling into place and the children were getting more and more excited!

     The day before Moving Up Day had arrived and it felt like we had a million things to do! Maddie hadn't been feeling well, I was losing my voice (which always seems to happen when I stress out about big events) and we were both worn out from all the prep we had done for this day. We both worked our normal 8 hour shifts that day and then I went back to meet Maddie after the center closed at 5:30 and we started to get all the decorations ready. Maddie's friend and her husband came to help which was a godsend. We knew that since the ceremony was taking place in the church and they were having their regular Thursday night service we wouldn't be able to get in to decorate until at least 8 so we did as much prep as we could in the classroom. We blew up tons of balloons, we strung the flag signs, we set up the entire candy bar and we chatted and gossiped too. Oh, and of course we watched Marcel The Shell a couple times just for a good laugh. Sadly by the end of the night I sounded like him. We started getting ready for the ceremony at 5:30 that night and we didn't end up leaving until all the decorations and tables were set up at 10:00pm. Oh, and we were coming back at 6:15 the next morning to finish. It was all worth it though...

Finally the big day had arrive. All the kids were coming in dressed in their nice outfits and they knew that it was going to be a special day. Maddie and I took turns running back and forth between the classroom and the church to put the finishing touches on everything. We put a movie on for the kids so we could get their caps and gowns on and sent them all to the bathroom (we knew that at least one of them would say they had to go "potty" in the middle of the ceremony if we didn't). This is when my nerves started to kick in, and when my voice continued to give out. I hoped that everyone would love what we did and were proud of the kids for how much they had done to prepare for this day. All of the songs went really well, the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves. Val gave a nice speech at the beginning and Maddie and I read from "Oh, The Places You'll Go." Then came time for the slide show. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I was relieved things had gone so well, or that I was heart broken that I only had a couple more months with some of my kids or that Val started crying almost the second the slide show started (I almost ALWAYS cry when she cries; she's like my big sister) or if it was just a combination of all three things but I was an emotional mess during the slide show. I saw some of the parents and grandparents crying as well. I'm sure it didn't help that we picked some tear jerker songs to play in the background- ha!

     After the ceremony was over we had a huge luncheon in the church. All of them parents were telling me and Maddie how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how proud of their children and us they were. It felt great to hear those things. We had worked so hard and we had put so much time and effort into making it a day they would remember so it felt great to hear that the parents and children enjoyed it. All the kids went crazy over the candy bar, especially the rainbow cupcakes I had made for the occasion. After everything had settled and the clean-up had ended I had this overwhelming feeling like "that's it?" We had put so much into the day and it felt like it flew by. I also felt like I didn't know what I was going to spend my free time doing now that all the prep work for the day was done. I will admit though, it was nice to have some free time after it was over! I honestly don't know if I could, or will ever top that Moving Up Day. I was so proud of everything the children had done, everything that Maddie and I had done and we honestly wouldn't have been able to get it all done with out Val and Bri. This years Moving Up Day will be much harder for me to get through. The group that will the "graduating" this coming June is the first group that I've had in my room since their first day in the Preschool room. I can't believe I'm going to have to say goodbye to all of them in less than a year. I better starting planning an epic Moving Up Day for them right now... ;)


All of the LARGE pictures were taken by Maddie! Thanks for letting me use them Maddie :) All the small square ones were taken with my iPhone.