All posts tagged: preschool

There’s No Painting in Dance Class!

I find myself giving a lot of pep talks these days.  Whether it’s telling my high school students to stop obsessing over another dance team’s costumes/props/anorexic talent and start focusing instead on their own performance, reminding my middle school kids to breathe when they’re hurrying out of one costume and into the next, or telling my first graders to “get their wiggles out” so they can focus, I’m pretty much in perpetual encouragement mode this time of year. Which is why I can’t believe it when the following little scenario played out in one of my creative movement classes earlier this week. The School’s year-end concert is just around the corner, which means I’m responsible for putting together a “demonstration of tasks and gross motor skills” for each of my two classes and a “finale dance” for those beach balls who will be moving on to Kindergarten next year. Of course not all of the graduates are in the same class—that would be too easy—so this week we’ve been shuffling the schedule around to allow …

The Aliens Are Coming For Me

As if I didn’t have enough on my mind with tomorrow’s trip to Boston with The Wedding Date, E.T. is sad at me. I know this because one of my beach balls, a particularly verbose three year old, turned to me at the end of his daily creative movement class earlier this week, pointed his chubby finger at the familiar extraterrestrial depicted on his t-shirt and declared “E.T. is sad at you!” “Why is that?” I asked. “Because he didn’t get a star!” “He did get a star,” I corrected.  “He got a little star.” “But E.T. wants a BIG star!” “Well, E.T. can’t get a big star until he gets ten little stars.” I know that reasoning with a three year old is an exercise in futility but this is the way it works.  And this is the way it’s worked ever since I decided that my beach balls needed an incentive to keep their more malicious bumbling in check earlier this year. Each class has a behavior chart, and each student’s name is …

How The Raven Stole The Sun: In 30 Minutes with 30 Kids!

For reasons unbeknownst to me and my fellow teaching artists at The School, the director decided to add a “multicultural focus” to the curriculum this year.  She chose four different “countries” (presumably at random) and asked us to incorporate each of these “countries” into our lesson plans. I’m putting the word “countries” in quotes because initially, The School’s director had chosen Alaska as one of the four.  When her assistant informed her that Alaska is not a country but a state, they put their heads together and decided upon the Inuit Nation instead. (Because, yeah, that makes sense—let’s try to get a bunch of preschoolers to understand one of the most highly contested “nations” of the northern hemisphere.) Nonetheless, I was pretty excited about the multicultural focus at first.  We spent the fall talking about Diwali, yoga and all things India and I’ve already begun collection resources for South Africa (which we’ll tie into the Black History Month concert) and Greece (which will result in some sort of Olympic-inspired graduation ceremony at the end of …

Who Knew a Hula Hoop Could Get You Fired?

Well folks, I still haven’t heard from Date #7 (and seeing as we’re supposed to be meeting for the first time on Friday afternoon and spending the entire weekend together, this is kind of a big deal).  Under ordinary circumstances, I’d be tempted to smash my cell phone against the wall and swear off men all together but I’ve got bigger fish to fry. It all began around noon yesterday.  I was at The School (where I teach creative movement five mornings a week) carrying props from the dance studio down to the auditorium to get ready for our end-of-the-year concert when my boss calls me over to her desk. Now I should pause briefly to explain that there are in fact two schools under my boss’s jurisdiction.  She rarely visits our branch, as it’s the smaller of the two, but every once in a while she’ll stop by to make sure we haven’t descended into total anarchy. I should also explain that the creative movement teacher at the other branch has been there since …

The Darndest Things

Back in October, The Preschool (where I teach creative movement five mornings a week) hosted a Breast Cancer awareness event.  Unfortunately, I never got the memo so on the one day that I decided not to wear one of my fuscia “active wear” tops to work, I was greeted by a sea of pink preschoolers. Even the boys had pink ribbons pinned to their shirts, and some of their mothers had sent them in pink t-shirts or pink sweater vests especially for the occasion. One, cute as a button in his crisp, pale pink dress shirt, came running up to me to announce, “Miss Kat!  Today, we’re all…”  His voice trailed off as he tried to remember what exactly all the fuss was about.  Then it came to him: “We’re celebrating breast cancer!” “That’s great!” I replied. (“That’s great!” is my standard response to everything from “We’re celebrating breast cancer!” and “Look Miss Kat, I’m a dragon!” to “My mommy said she isn’t going to have any more kids until she gets married and stuff…”) …

Not Quite Writing Wednesday

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming (ie. Writing Wednesday) to bring you this important message: I’m thinking that I ought to rename this blog “Adventures in Nose Blowing” because aside from the occasional pseudo-anthropological commentary on dating, it feels as though I write about little else these days. Continuing in this vein, I’m going to invest in the cough medicine industry.  And the cough drop industry.  And the tissue industry.  But not in the nasty Vicks brand my mother’s recently introduced into the Richter household—they’re evil. The box of eucalyptus-scented tissues comes with a warning label that advises would be nose-blowers to keep said tissues away from their eyes.  Now I’m not sure about the rest of you, but my nose is rather close to my eyes.  As such, when I first made the mistake of blowing my nose with a Vicks tissue, my eyeballs caught wind of the eucalyptus-scented assailant immediately and would have jumped ship right then and there if not for my eyelids holding them back. So yeah, it’s safe to say …

The Day After I Got Freshly Pressed

Not that I’m complaining, but 184 comments is a lot of comments to sort through.  Granted, I wrote probably two or three dozen of them myself in response to those readers who were kind enough to stop by and add their two cents in response to Thursday’s post, but I was brain dead by the time I woke up to get ready for work on Friday morning. “Wouldn’t it be nice to go to work in my PJs?” I thought.  I could sleep for an extra fifteen minutes, not shower and just roll out wearing the same flannels I’d gone to sleep in the night before.  Seeing as most of my tank tops serve double duty as pajamas and active wear (with a visit to the washing machine first, of course), this seemed like a rather good idea.  Plus, it was Friday.  Dress down day, right? Unfortunately not (or so I thought) so I dragged myself into the shower, pinned my hair into the most professional “teacher look” I could manage (a French twist without …

Oh Yeah: it’s President’s Day

Today is President’s Day here in the US.  I know this because when I dismissed my final Friday morning class with my usual, “Have a nice weekend, friends.  See you Monday!” one of my more precocious preschoolers piped up.  “No you won’t Miss Kat,” he informed me.  “Because Monday is President’s Day!” This particular student is very on the ball when it comes to his holidays.  First it was Martin Luther King Day (“He had a dream, Miss Kat!”) then Valentine’s Day (“Here’s your Valentine’s Day hug, Miss Kat!”) and now President’s Day.  To be honest, I was rather disappointed that he didn’t begin reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address right there on the spot because knowing him, he could have. When I first met this particular student back in September, he introduced himself as “Jerry.” “Nice to meet you, Jerry,” I replied, kneeling down with my “Yes, I’m tall but I’m not scary” smile.  “Do you like to dance?” Before he could reply, his classroom teacher interrupted.  “Jerry? Please!  Tell Miss Kat your real name.” Evidently …