I am going to come right out and say it. Kindergarteners scare me. My entire teaching career was spent in middle school, sixth grade. Now I find myself in the library at an elementary school. I teach library once a week to all the classes, kindergarten through sixth grade.
Most the grades levels are a piece of cake, but not kindergarten, and really not kindergarten at the beginning of the school year. They miss their moms. They need a nap. They are scared. They cry. They fight. They run. They shout. They pick their noses when you are reading to them. They sharpen colored pencils to nubs. They set down the book you JUST CHECKED OUT TO THEM and cannot find it. They trade books with friends. They pull books off the shelves and…. get this…. they put them back in random places.
By week three, after multiple times of practicing walking quietly in the library, after much praise for sitting “criss cross applesauce” during storytime without touching your neighbor, of learning to put the book with the red dot back in the tub with the red dot, they start to be fun. I mean, there are still bad days of course, but all in all they are fun. You begin to know which kids like books about spiders and which ones like “Pinkalicious.” That kid who sounded like he was speaking in a foreign language at the beginning of the year becomes understandable, his friends don’t have to translate for you anymore. Sometimes you learn a little too much, like whose “Mommy thinks the world is going to end.” You know, stuff like that.
So today, we were deep into the genius story “Seven Blind Mice,” the kids were hanging in there, pretty engaged when a little guy pops off, “Hey Guys!” He is just so excited, “Guess what? I am wearing my mom’s socks!” He pulls up his pants to show us. “Isn’t that amazing?”
“Me too!” Says a little girl, showing us her socks, pink Smart Wool socks, expensive socks that I would kill my daughters if they ever thought of wearing them to school.
The story now seriously derailed, I gave them a few minutes to discuss their socks. And it didn’t frighten me, it was actually pretty cute.