Whoa. The first few weeks of school. It’s been real.
To begin, allow me to introduce myself. I am a school counselor. Who teaches Character Education. To children in grades K-8.
Now even though this is my absolute dream job, it does come with a few drawbacks. I am forbidden by law to name names, but allow me to paint the picture.
I love working with kids in the upper grades. They get me. It’s my jam. They laugh politely at my jokes. And roll their eyes at me behind my back. The way students are supposed to be taught.
But holy mother effer if these littles in Kindergarten don’t scare the ever living crap out of me. They’re so little. They’re so needy. They ask so many questions that I never know the answers to.
I’ve never had any desire to even visit a Kindergarten classroom. Because of what I had pictured it to be like in my head. I pictured hell. Absolute pure unadulterated hell right here on CPS earth.
And I know some of you are thinking, what’s the big deal? You’ve been a teacher a long time. True. But not to children small enough to be mistaken for ants.
What’s the big deal? You have four children. I HAD four children. My youngest is eight. Practically grown.
So I really had to pump myself up.
I was ready. I could do this. I can do anything I put my mind to. But there is really nothing that could have prepared me for what I was about to endure.
Walking into a Kindergarten classroom last period on a Friday, the very first week of school, is like walking into a Frat house at 8am on a Sunday morning.
There are passed out bodies everywhere. I mean, one kid’s sitting up in a chair looking like he passed out mid-sip. In the same clothes he had on yesterday.
Another is off to the side. Like her friends got sick of her and just left her there sleeping at the bar. At first look, I think it’s just a pile of clothes. But upon further inspection, it’s a little girl wearing a party dress. Even though we wear uniforms here.
Then there was a fight. One kid was crying because the calendar for today said cloudy. But now it was sunny out. Holy Mother Effer. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I thought my uncles went crazy over dumb stuff.
This kid was not playing. Neither was the kid who didn’t think it should be touched.
Then the same damn kid wants his sky to be red when we’re drawing a pic. Well, if you thought the other kid was pissed about it being sunny, you should have seen him when someone drew the sky red.
Him: THE SKY CAN’T BE RED! IT CAN’T. THE SKY HAS TO BE BLUE!
Me: Yes. Yes, his sky can actually be red. Because this is a public freaking school.
His sky can be red or blue or green or rainbow or unicorn. Yes even unicorn. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
His sky is his sky. He sees it his way. You see yours your way. That’s the way life works in public school. Who’s to really say what color it should be, anyway?
And by then we’re all so confused that we just put our heads down. After we eat some paste together. And we move on with our lives.
They are definitely exhausting. But there’s one thing I really do love about kids in Kindergarten. They get IT.
Just be freaking nice. Share your damn crayons. And don’t be a total dick. It’s that simple.