the dance of the ink riddled fingers

glorified babysitter

Posted in how was your day?, thought spills by enisea on 15/03/2011

Upon sinking realisation that my job is not as ‘easy’ as the rest of the world (myself included) perceived, my use to time has been raised and thinned to a petrifying (and exhilarating) 7-storey high tightrope – which I will probably cling for dear life to.  Being a kindergarten teacher of total forty-six children for a total of ten contact hours a week (sound measly doesn’t it) never in my wildest imagination translated to paperwork and administration for at least another fifteen hours plus this much uncertainty and a thousand pages of department regulations.

I am very slow at grasping this – the proper and efficient rhythm of paperwork: recording and reporting and maintaining and establishing and templating. What’s more is that this beautiful yet intimidating concept called Organisation has instilled so much consequence that I feel a tiny bit crippled.  Unlike school teachers, who have their school’s office clergy offer sacrifices to the harsh goddess of Administration on their behalf, kindergarten teachers are often also recognised by the title “kindergarten director” – encapsulating the responsibility of every enrolment and the little tricky and unfamiliar territory that it currently marks for those accustomed to pre-made templates and instructional efficiencies.  Gratefully I confess I am learning so much about the how-to’s for attempts to achieve near-equilibrium… especially the how-to-do-it-inefficiently which is probably my only consistency since beginning on the first of February.  Shamefully, my thus-far-tolerated unorganised spontaneity has been my injured archilles heel to the collapse of my strength and skill.  There are new frameworks in motion this year officially – regarding pre-school curriculum. And yes, we actually have to plan a curriculum.  We do not mindlessly adorn tables in play-doh, lego and crayons because it is fun and the children seem to like it. We do it because playdoh is a manipulative, multisensory medium which has potentials for creativity and fine-motor development; because one’s lego product reveals their strategy of thought, concepts of construction and understanding of real life, applied in smaller proportions (like houses, cars, boats, farms, etc); and because watching how a child creates meaning via visuals, ie: what interests/concepts are reoccuring and favoured (eg: self, family, rainbows, crocodiles), and which details they are attentive to or not help a little in understanding a child’s perception, not to mention noting their hand-eye coordination, fine-motor skills, the strength of their drawing hand, and of course their creativity.  The new National Quality Agenda (a new world of regulations) officialises next year – which gives me this year to learn and put to practice.

I don’t which is better, to make the easy look hard or to make the hard look easy.  Either way, I do not feel completely adequate as a graduate part-time kindergarten teacher.  My heart goes out to my graduated class who were converted straight into full-time primary school, full-time childcare (what heroes!) and full-time kindergarten teachers.  I have been super, super blessed to be supported by a really lovely and accommodating team and so far my failings have not been catastrophic.  When I started, I thought I might just be doing “a little bit” of over-time for the first two or three weeks.  After, I thought it might just be the first term.  Now I feel ambitious in saying I will only be working 20 hours a week (but getting paid 16) by the beginning of third term!  I’m sort of taking my own sweet time learning this ‘teaching’ thing. My repertoire is so limited!  I wish it were next year and I knew it all by then – or at least double what I know now.

Ugh, I have this pimple/cole sore to the right of my mouth.  My little body has been fighting so hard to keep well that in its exhausted exertion it permitted the residence of an ugly little thing on my face.  I must with smirk admit this is a small infirmity compared to the bedridden flu.  Let me defy the statistics with this claim: I will not fall sick in my first term as a teacher, I say this contrary to convention – it is almost guaranteed that graduate teachers fall sick in their first term!  Thank God I believe in the promise of wholesome health thanks to Jehovah Rapha!

Anyway, bible college tomorrow – week four. I’ve caught up with the reading for one subject, I’ve barely started the other – I plan/hope/intend to catch up tonight…alongside considerable reorganisation of 46 childrens’ notes and the teacher’s write-up for tomorrow evening’s committee meeting! 

In other news my car’s dashboard has been blinking its empty petrol light for the last three days because the price of ordinary unleaded has just been too heartbreaking!  I have recently decided to call my car, Camel, as he usually impresses me with his capacity to run on a full tank for an average two weeks…and a half (if I push him).

Righteo! Posting this was overindulgent of me!

I am a kindergarten teacher!  If you hear somebody smirk “glorified babysitter”, smack ’em for me will you? Ta.


One Response

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  1. linnykins said, on 15/03/2011 at 7:29 PM

    I get what you mean about others not understanding the concept of what we do and why- I get that with occupational therapy too. And yes, petrol prices are awful…

    sounds like you’ll be an awesome teacher :) keep up the great work.

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