Take Me Away, Kindergarten!

I  mentioned in my last post that I got to visit my niece at her school. I not only got to drop her off and pick her up, but was able to eat lunch with her where I got to go to recess right after.

For the love of everything good and pleasant and sunshiny in the world– I want to be in kindergarten again!

Seriously, I remember my time in kindergarten like it was yesterday. It was clearly a very happy time. Though you probably wouldn’t guess it from my school photo. Yes, that’s me in kindergarten. For the first five or six years of school,  I am leaning and dopey looking in every school photo. I’m not sure why exactly. Maybe my parents secretly slipped me NyQuil in my grape juice and I was doped up for much of my childhood. Then again, I’m still pretty dopey looking. So it’s anyone’s guess. But I digress.

Ask me about high school, I probably won’t be able to tell you too much. Ask me about kindergarten and I can tell you in incredible detail about people and things we did and the building where I attended it. It’s quite amazing what I can recall from that time in my life. I’m sure we all have that moment when we were kids where we wish we could go return to. Of course, I would love to have kindergarten back, but wouldn’t want to have to go through all the years that followed – ick. So there is that.

At my niece’s school they have a really great structured program. They have all their little personal touches, the way they line up for lunch, how they get everyone to quiet down, etc. It’s one of those things, as a child, sometimes seems annoying or stupid, but you do it because those are the rules and there’s a comfort in all the structure. As an adult you appreciate that type of structure all the more because it is simple and safe, there are no bills or jobs or “what is going to happen next” in it. Life is easy, and taken care of for you.

Going to recess was so much fun and so invigorating! I can’t even do it justice. I chased after my niece as we ventured over the playground. We went on the swings (my personal favorite), we went up the ladders and down the slides, we even hung from the monkey bars. It was cold, we were red cheeked, breathing out of our mouths, giggling and enjoying those moments of pure freedom that are recess.

I did notice, as an adult I was much more popular on the playground that I ever was as a kid. I had children tugging on my arms and pulling me in different directions. I kept hearing, “Can I play too?” It was very cute and they were really sweet and seemed like great kids.

I can only imagine what I must have looked like among all those 6 year olds. Picking my feet up so they wouldn’t drag while swinging. Not that I don’t swing, because I do at the park, but the swings were lower at my niece’s school. On the stairs to go up to slide, I was towering above, standing in the middle of the line of four feet tall people, all crowding into one another for a chance to zip down the slide. I did try to be careful to not bowl any small individuals over when I got to the bottom of the slide. Those little people stack up quickly down there.

I remember when I was in kindergarten, swinging, and sliding, but I would race all the boys too. When we played in the gym we (the boys and I) would play with balls. (Wait, that sounds incredibly bad) and try and make baskets. All the girls would be playing by the stands, playing house and each pretending one of the boys was their husbands. However, I wanted no part of that. I was such a tomboy when I was younger. I’m not sure how I ended up a “dress girl” as an adult.

I would always want to take Nilla Wafers on my day to bring snacks. Those were so yummy with the carton of milk we would get. They were my favorite! And still pretty delicious to this day.

Play-doh was one of the funner activities in the classroom. Making our little beginner reader books. The ones we stapled together and colored, featuring the dog who ran or who barked. Deep, ingenious stuff.

I do remember getting yelled out by the teacher once, because as we were cleaning up, instead of walking a block over to the box, I tossed it in. I was such a rebel.

Kindergarten was such a carefree and enjoyable time, and getting a glimpse of my niece in that world made me smile. It makes me feel hopeful that her memories of kindergarten should be as pleasant and easy to remember as mine have been. She has an amazing teacher, which makes those memories even easier to hold onto. (Her teacher was actually my first grade teacher. The teacher probably doesn’t like to be reminded of that, but I think it’s pretty swell.) The teachers are so important, it’s a shame there has been such an assault on teachers in recent years and that they have lost much of their authority and freedom to truly do their jobs. Teachers get blamed for too much by parents, while never holding their own child accountable for their performance. (Getting off of my soapbox. . .)

It’s such an important and formative time in a person’s life, that it’s good to see that kindergarten is still structured yet fun, teaching not only the basics and necessities of education, but manners and the respect for rules and trying to shape healthy young minds and well-rounded little people.

* Playground photo – tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* Blocks photo – Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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11 thoughts on “Take Me Away, Kindergarten!

  1. Reminds of some work experience I did at school, when I was put in an infant school for a week, I guess that’s the same age as kindergarten, I started a post including it as it was eventful, not finished that one off yet.

    It’s definitely a problem in the UK, teachers are expected to do the job of parents, many of whom neglect to remember they have to raise their own kids.

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    • Curious to read your post, and what you remember of that time. Isn’t it interesting what we remember and from when?

      Then it doesn’t just happen in the U.S.? Thank goodness. Parents here are, for the most part, ridiculous. No accountability for themselves, as parents, and none for their children, for their behavior or performance in school. There’s always an excuse, it’s always another person’s fault. Very frustrating and discouraging.

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  2. Really nice post. Nilla Wafers are awesome, as are Vienna Fingers (remember those?).

    I like that you’re leaning in all your old school photos. I look super happy in all of my old ones. I think ‘leaning’ is a better way to go through a person’s early life…it implies you were sort of skeptical, keenly aware. Or maybe doped up on spiked NyQuil, take your pick.

    Thanks for another lovely walk down memory lane. : )

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  3. Oh you were so cute in kindergarten!

    “The teachers are so important, it’s a shame there has been such an assault on teachers in recent years and that they have lost much of their authority and freedom to truly do their jobs. Teachers get blamed for too much by parents, while never holding their own child accountable for their performance.”

    Totally agree! As a teacher myself, I see this everyday. I don’t see much of the parents because I deal with college kids but if you listen to some of my students you’d think that they were still in kindergarten. Always whining about every little detail! ‘Grow up’, is all I want to say.

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  4. As a former teacher, thank you for recognizing that we can’t educate and raise students. You can have one or the other, not both. :-/ I taught for eleven years (high school); however, seven of those years was on a K-12 campus. We had programs where high schoolers could be aides in elementary classrooms and teachers could cross sub. I was a fourth grade teacher for several days one week…very eye opening! There was respect all the way around, and everyone loved pitching in. Whether it was judging door decorations or helping out with classroom surprises, I spent quite a bit of time with the little uns, and they loved it. Much fun! 🙂 Thanks for telling me I’m not the only one who likes doing “kid stuff.”

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    • Being expected to raise and educate, and especially without very few resources or funds, usually. I often wonder how the education got so out of whack. Thank you for your years of educating, though! You’re definitely not the only one who likes doing kid stuff, I think my real age might be 7! 🙂

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  5. Awesome post! I can remember kindergarten like it was yesterday, too. I have so many fond memories of that year.

    Good point about teachers’ authority being taken away. Kids aren’t being taught accountability like they should be anymore.

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