Why Teachers Teach {Spin Cycle}

This past Wednesday, after leading them in several songs about days of the week, the weather, and Alice the camel, my co-teachers and I shook the hands of 20 preschoolers and pronounced them ready for Kindergarten! At the end of the graduation ceremony, we all sang the song we sing at the end of every preschool session:

For Grace Preschool is over,
And we are going home.
Goodbye, goodbye,
Be always kind and good.
Goodbye, goodbye,
Be always kind and good.

When my daughters sang this song at the end of their preschool graduations, I couldn’t help but cry. A new phase of their lives was beginning, and while I was happy that they were growing up, a part of me was sad that their preschool years were over. They were going to full day Kindergarten in the fall, and I was going to miss them! How was I going to fill my days while my little girls were at school?

The answer, as you know, was teaching at the same preschool they had attended. Teaching preschool is very different from teaching 2nd grade, as I did for thirteen years before Lily was born. I have found a passion for early childhood education that I didn’t know I possessed. I always used to say I didn’t want to teach children younger than second graders. Now I teach three and four year olds. While it can be challenging (my aunt told me teaching three year olds is like herding cats), it is also rewarding.

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A couple of my blogging friends have written about their little ones graduating from preschool, and after I read Tamara’s post about her little one, I wrote this comment: I’m expecting lots of tears from parents tonight at our preschool graduation! I might even tear up, and I’m just their teacher.  I’ve taught most of the kids for two years, and I wish I could follow them to Kindergarten! Most of the them are going to the same school as my kids, so I will get to see them every once in a while. That makes me happy.

Tamara, who has a very big, soft and squishy heart, replied back: I can’t imagine being a teacher – seeing kids come and go, but getting close with a whole new class every fall. Ah, this cycle. It was hard for me as a kid. It’s a lot harder for me as a parent.

It is hard. This year, I taught the same group of kids five days a week. Over the past two years, I’ve seen them grow taller, learn how to share, and taught them how to write their names. I’ve seen them learn amazing skills on their own through exploratory play, seen their imaginations flourish, and made them laugh by singing silly songs. It’s hard to say goodbye.

recycled flowers

It’s time, however. They are ready. Every single one of my students is Kindergarten ready. I am so proud of them, and am happy to see them fly away from their preschool home. Next fall, the cycle will start all over again, and it’s one of the things I love about my job. The fresh, new faces, the different personalities, and a chance to teach again.

This week, I volunteered at my daughters’ school for Field Day. A second grader said hello to me and I hardly recognized her. She was so tall and her baby face was gone. It’s been three years since I had her in my class, and it was so fun to see her again. I saw several other former students that day. We hula hooped together and played “Mr. Fox” and then I sent them on to the next activity. They had been happy to see me, but they were even more excited about moving on; about graduating to the next station.

They ran so fast they just about flew.


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Link up here or over at my co-host’s blog, Gretchen at Second Blooming!


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18 Responses to Why Teachers Teach {Spin Cycle}

  1. Alison says:

    What a gift it is for these kids to have you as a teacher, Ginny!
    My boys adore their teachers, and I’m grateful that they love and care for them so much.
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #21: StreetMy Profile

  2. Catherine says:

    This is really touching. I am so glad you get to see your impact and their growth.

  3. Gretchen says:

    Every year, on the last day of school, Jude insists on driving the two blocks from his school to his old preschool, and paying a visit to his old teachers. It’s our little tradition. His teachers are always SO dear and excited to see him. I hope that he continues to want to do this until he leaves for college! And that his sweet teachers are still around to see him grow. Teachers are so special.
    Gretchen recently posted…Spin Cycle: Not GraduatingMy Profile

    • Ginny Marie says:

      That is so, so sweet! I would love it if some of my students had that tradition! We sometimes have siblings that have attended preschool with us visit when they don’t have school and we do.

  4. It’s so special I could just cry! (I love how you described my heart!)
    We had parent/teacher conferences yesterday and one teacher did get emotional about saying goodbye to Scarlet. It was her first year in the school so she and Scarlet were both newbies last year. Sigh. I might cry right now. I told her that Scarlet would be her student this summer because the school does summer camp. AND Des will go there in 2015/2016 and preschool starts earlier than elementary school so Scarlet will most likely come with me EVERY day to drop Des off.
    Our hearts are lingerings. It’s all good, though. Scarlet is kindergarten ready.
    tamaralikecamera recently posted…I’ve Been Looking Forward To This All Week.My Profile

    • Ginny Marie says:

      I have a couple of students that I had to say goodbye to on Friday. It is emotional…lingering hearts is a good way to put it! I’m teaching the first session of our summer school, which I’m looking forward to.

  5. I was at my son’s award night the other night and I heard names called of kids I hadn’t seen since preschool 9-10 years ago and it was so cool to see these kids grown up. Of course he’s remained friends with some of them so I’ve seen them through the years but I imagine being a teacher and seeing the kids years later must be so incredible. And they remember you. I know my kids remember their preschool and young elementary teachers and what an effect they had on them…it’s wonderful!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Memorial Day Edition {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

    • Ginny Marie says:

      It is a really neat experience! I taught in a rural area for quite a while, and I’d take my class to the FFA activities at the high school where I’d see some of my former students!

  6. I have the experience of have taught many little ones in the past. Seeing them again is always bittersweet: to remember the little one they were and to witness the big kids they have become. It is such an honor to be involved in a child’s life!
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…#AskAwayFriday with Rea of REAlity BitesMy Profile

  7. Oh, I missed those days when my boys were small like that. I have my one son’s Kindergarten graduation picture on my wall. He was dressed up in his little cap and gown hold his diploma. So sweet!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Buffalo Greek Fest 5K RecapMy Profile

  8. We just had Emma’s pre-school graduation and also Kindergarten orientation this past week. I will say totally bittersweet and just cannot believe my baby is indeed growing up so quickly and right before my eyes. My emotions on this have truly been all over the place and as much as I am a teacher at heart with my own kids it is still all new to me and very different indeed, too.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Swimming Pool Safety For Kids (Guest Post)My Profile

    • Ginny Marie says:

      It is a much different feeling with my own kids than it is seeing other children graduate! I think being a parent as well as a teacher has really made me a better teacher. That said, I’m also looking forward to spending some time this summer with my daughters!
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Why Teachers Teach {Spin Cycle}My Profile

  9. Astrid says:

    I am so proud of your students. I understand it’s hard having to miss them from now on and not seeing their everyday progress. Then again, you’ll meet some lovely new kids next fall whom you can teach the valuable things this year’s preschool graduates have learned from you already.
    Astrid recently posted…Growing Up with Undiagnosed Asperger’s SyndromeMy Profile

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