As long as I can remember teaching kindergarten in the public schools, kindergarten usually had the pleasure of eating lunch first. It felt more like brunch considering we usually had to eat at 10:30 AM and the breakfast crowd had cleared out less than two hours earlier.
I remember one day when I had not had breakfast and was famished. Once I got my students through the line, I pulled out my chair, plopped down at the teacher table, and felt moisture. In fact, I felt a LOT of moisture. I got up and saw a puddle in my chair. The cafeteria manager came out and put her nose down to it and took several sniffs. She declared that it definitely was not apple juice which by that time I had pretty much figured out on my own. It turns out that one of the children who had eaten breakfast earlier couldn't get to the bathroom fast enough. The teachers on lunch duty with me gave me looks of sympathy while  trying to hide the giggles that they were taking great pains to suppress!

I walked bow legged down to the Principal's office to ask if I could go home to change my pants. It was embarrassing to say the least because I remember them being linen and just clinging to my skin. He sat there laughing for a minute and then  declared that in all his years, he had encountered plenty of children that needed to go home to change wet pants. He went on to say that I was definitely the first teacher that had made such a request. I felt so special..............NOT!

This school picture was actually taken later in the day. Needless to say, I was wearing another pair of pants!

One mushy Monday Morning in February 2010, a kindergarten teacher mourned having to stay home from school because of snow. Maybe I should make an effort to start a blog she thought to herself. She grabbed a muffin and made herself sit down at the computer to muddle over making a start at compiling a blog.

A month passed and she began making new blogging friends. There was Tree at Mother of Pearl who "made me laugh with her marvelous sense of humor." said the teacher. "She even made an effort to give me an award but I was so new I didn't know what to do with it." But the teacher didn't stop marveling there.
With an a-mused smile, she continued "My community of blogging buddies continued to grow as I added Genny at My Cup To Yours who makes me laugh, meditate and sometimes even misty as she blogs about parenting and friendship. My Life As A Mom who blogs about Mommy's night out and month long events, Midday Escapades who blogs about building muscles, Messy Mommy who blogs about movie Mondays, Momma Drama who blogs about messy boo boos, Melissa from Living the Life of Riley  who met the Jonas Brothers,  Amy at Chapters Of Me  who blogs about being the best Mommy she can be, and Aging Mommy all make me laugh about their adventures in Mommyland."

"More time went by and I became attached to reading  Bernie's On My Own  and Anne at Choices because they make such sweet blogging  friends, Substitute Teacher's saga's musings on writing and substituting,  I've Become My Mother where Kelly muses on everything from her teenage daughter to her faith, and Debbie Doos blogging about everything from mudrooms to Mommyhood,  and Shell  who makes my eyes mist when she blogs about cancer snuffing out the life of a precious toddler."

"Now, I have stumbled upon the marvelous musings of Jenny Matlock who materializes into a school matron on Thursdays to make us all journey through the alphabet. And that, my  friend is the conclusion of my marvelous musings on my new adventures in blogging via Alphabet Thursday!" she said to me with a gleam in her eye. "Moreover, I suggest you not remain motionless and  make time to visit these many multi-faceted worthwhile blogging buds of mine." she said with moistened eyes. And with that, she skipped off to Mrs. Matlock to turn in her paper for a grade and to read Stir Fry Awesomeness  by Traci so she would know what to make for dinner that night!

      Almost Wordless Wednesday

Each one of my students brought me a flower today to combine into a beautiful bouquet. Aren't they lovely!!!

Remember me blogging about how our caterpillars turned into larvae? Well, they hatched today!

Remember our real larvae? Here is one with a butterfly emerging.....

 And here are the butterflies getting ready to fly out and explore the world!

         Kindergarten can be such a magical year!

Last week, I applied for a grant to attend the National Curriculum Conference in Philadelphia this summer.  If I get approved, there is the possibility that I will  come back and share what I learned with my colleagues. I have taught many workshops throughout my career, but a few really stick out in my memory.  

I remember one year I was asked to do a presentation for the local school board. On the particular night I was scheduled to present, the board room was packed because a lot of parents wanted to speak publicly about an issue. Since this happened about twenty years ago, I can't remember what the issue was. What I do remember is how hard I studied the material for my presentation. I practiced in front of the mirror for days beforehand trying to build my confidence up and to ensure that I was well versed on the subject matter. I wanted to be ready to address any questions  from the board or the audience once I got up there in front of everyone.

That night, I remember looking around and seeing  that the room was packed with people. There was not an empty chair to be seen and people lined the sides of the room. I  looked around and was terrified that I would get so nervous that I might throw up. What if I got up there and had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the presentation???

When it was my turn to present, I took a deep breath., and wondered what everyone would do if I just ran out of the room. It was overwhelming seeing all those people staring intently at me. I remember thinking that I could never be a preacher. My confidence built once  my presentation got underway. I thought to myself that I was really going to pull this off...until I saw a man in the front row tilting his head at a near ninety degree angle. I looked back at the screen where my overhead was projected to the room and saw that I had put it on upside down. In fact, the entire ten  overheads I had been talking about before that one had all been displayed upside down. I gasped in horror, fixed it, and continued with my presentation, trying to pretend that nothing happened.  When I finished, the superintendent and the board thanked me and I made my exit. 

I cried all the way home, berating myself for not having turned around to look at my overheads. The next day, who should come to see me but the Superintendent himself. He told me that what was important to him was that I was passionate about what I spoke about and that I had tried my best. He emphasized that we all learn through experience and that he wanted me to know that he was proud of me. My school system covered 800 square miles and had around 90 schools. He didn't have to make the effort to come and talk to me, but he did and it made such an impression on me.  If that man had asked me to run a 5k race that day,  I would have done it. I never forgot his kindness. 

Is there someone in your life that has made a big impression on you?

My post today was inspired by Gutsy Writer.  She is trying to decide whether to send her son to military school. My daughter attended an all girls private boarding school/day  high school and forged some wonderful friendships while she was there. She also got an exceptional education. While many girls were boarders from all over the United States, my daughter was a day student. We were lucky to be able to afford the tuition as a day student. The tuition for a boarding student would have been impossible for us financially.  What made us decide on a private school? In ninth grade, my daughter was a cheerleader in the public high school she was attending. She was a straight A honor student but we became concerned about some of the influences she was being exposed to. For that reason, we made the decision to put her in private school and have never regretted it. But that isn't really what this post is about.

While I was reading Gutsy Writer's post today, I remembered a young lady from New York city who  was in my daughter's high school class. She was a boarder and was just a little waif of a thing. Like my daughter, this young lady is an only child. Unlike my daughter, this girl came from a very wealthy family. Whenever my daughter attended banquets, ceremonies, or any other school function where parents could attend, hers were always nowhere to be seen. Her mother was very involved in social and community affairs and according to the girl, always had something else to attend or somewhere else to be. Her father's business evidently took him all over the world. I took this girl under my wing and always invited her to sit with us whenever we proudly attended something at my daughter's school. I could tell the girl really appreciated it but I also saw the wistful sad expression in her eyes when she would explain again and again why her parents couldn't attend.

I wondered if I would ever meet these phantom parents but finally, after three years, they showed up the night before graduation. The mother was very fidgety at a dinner honoring the graduates and excused herself early to make some phone calls. I heard the girl urge her Mom to stay but she insisted that she really needed to get back to the hotel to take care of some things. My heart went out to that poor girl as I saw the disappointment written all over her face.

When I got home, that young girl was on my heart. After a couple of days, I dug up a story by an unknown author that I had in a file at school and I mailed it to those parents. The story is by an unknown author.
While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench  near a playground. "That's my son over there" she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide. "He's a fine looking boy," the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son "What do you say we go,  son?"

The boy pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes?" The man nodded and the boy continued swinging.

Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now?" Again, the boy pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes." The man smiled and said "Ok".

"My, you certainly are a patient father" the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, "My older son was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with him and now I would give anything to have just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with my younger son. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get five more minutes to watch him play."
If you read my last post, you already know that I am not always sensible. I attached a note, unsigned of course ( I am a wimp) telling the parents how many times I saw the hurt in their daughter's eyes at all the functions they missed the last three years because they didn't have time. I asked them to read the story by the unknown author. Did they read it? Who knows? I sure hope so.

As a teacher and a parent, I love to look at the blogs of young parents who obviously take great joy in their children. I share the joy that I see in the faces of my students' parents who obviously love and cherish their children.  Isn't it a shame that all parents don't realize what a gift they've been given!!!!

Okay guys, since the end of the school year is drawing near for me, I have been working at school for the past five hours and am ready to get to bed. I tried to think of some earth shattering bit of knowledge to share with you and my brain is simply empty at this point. So, I am going to share a little snippet with you that one of my sweet little charges said last Thursday. 

After four dry days of a thick yellow coating of pollen covering everything outside like icing on a cake, we finally got a little rain on Thursday. I had been keeping the children inside because so many have bad allergies and asthma and they were so excited about finally getting a chance to go out and play. Just as we were heading out, it started to sprinkle. I held up my hand and looked at the sky and then back at my hopeful little charges. "Okay, we will go anyway since it is hardly sprinkling." I said as they all cheered. Twenty minutes later we passed another class as we re-entered the building. "Hey! said one child. "Did you guys get to go outside? Our teacher wouldn't let us because it was sprinkling. No fair!!" One of my adorable little girls looked over at another girl in our class and said "Aren't you glad Mrs. B isn't as sensible as Mrs. K!" 

I hope none of my students' parents read this!!!