It's here. The time of year when things both at home and school start to get really busy. It started two weeks ago as we began to prepare for our school's annual Harvest Fair. It's our staff's way to make a little extra money for our students. We have a white elephant room, craft room, and jewelry table. The kids come in with fists full of dollars ready to be spent on little treasures. They shop til they drop or run out of money which ever comes first.
My son usually comes home with some little "treasure" from the jewelry table that makes its way under the Christmas tree, usually with my name
on it. Since I've had children at my school since 1996, I have quite a collection of trinkets!
Not a week later, my fellow kindergarten teachers and I found ourselves preparing for our annual kindergarten feast. This is a long standing tradition at our school. It takes a solid week of preparation. Making place mats and costumes, designating which class will be Native Americans and which will be Pilgrims, and grocery shopping to buy ingredients for making cranberry sauce, butter, and corn bread.
We ask each child to bring in a salad vegetable so we can make a salad stone soup style!
The day before our feast is spent cooking and inevitably every year at least one of us burns the cranberry sauce, or fails to turn the heavy cream into butter but the kids have a great time.
The morning of our feast we put our salad together, trusting the kids with plastic knives, sometimes the tomatoes are turned to mush and the carrots are responsible for breaking more than one knife, but it's good fine-motor practice!
Then we give the "eating with manners" lecture.
When to say please, when to say thank you, how NOT to say ewwww that's gross and how to just leave it on your plate when it's something you don't like.
"Mrs C what's that stuff?"
"It's cranberry sauce, we made it remember?"
"But it doesn't look like cranberry sauce."
"It is, trust me. Try it you might like it."
"No thanks, I only like the one that looks like the can."
So we lined the miniature Pilgrims and Native Americans in the hallway with their place mats and forks in hand. Mouths were watering as they awaited our principal to deliver her annual thankful speech.
It was then that I realized that maybe I didn't do a very good job teaching the kids about Pilgrims. My little Native Americans were seated first as the Pilgrims from across the hall filed in.
"Mrs. C who are they supposed to be?!?"
And then they dug in. Turkey, Salad, Cornbread...some were more adventurous than others, but when all is said and done, they won't remember who taught them that u always needs to follow q or that 3 apples take away 2 apples equals 1 apple, but they will remember their kindergarten feast.
With Thanksgiving festivities over, it's time to focus on the December holidays. The kids know what's coming and they are already talking about all things Santa.
I let it slip the other day that I knew Santa's phone number.
"How do you know Santa's number?" one little cherub asked.
"Oh Matthew, don't you know, all teachers know Santa's phone number."
I'm sure he's still pondering that little bit on information.
"Hey Mrs. C, do you know what I want to be when I grow up?"
"I don't know, let me guess. Fire Fighter?"
"I know, a teacher!"
"Nope, I want to be an elf!"
"An excellent career choice just remember me when you're a famous elf."
After all... it's not what you know, it's who you know!