Name Games

15 Sep

I’m ecstatic.  I know all of my students’ names. 

Well, at least today I do.

Please don’t ask me outside of the classroom if a particular child is a morning or afternoon student, because that is a question I probably won’t be able to answer just yet.  Some things will take a little extra time.

I have many students with names that start with the same sound.  Imagine having a *Cindy, Sarah, Suzy, Savannah, Sandy and Saul in one class, for example.  Maybe it is just me, but my brain starts to mix up those names.  I will say Michael when I mean Matthew, and I will say Jessica when I mean Jennifer. 

I also have many names that sound similar like McKenzie and McKenna, for example.  This is yet another speed bump for my brain and more names to stumble over. 

Add to those obstacles the chance that I might call a student by their older sibling’s name, and it is amazing that I can correctly learn any child’s name, ever.

But I have done it.

Now the goal is to remember all of their names for the next school day.

Keeping in mind, of course, that on most mornings I have to run back into the house to grab my forgotten lunch. 

Mrs. V

*All the names used in this post are fictional and not the actual names of any of my students.


6 Sep


alarm shockingly ringing

school year beginning

Mrs. V

The Lists

30 Aug

The week before the new school year begins, I receive my very important class lists.  These lists contain the names of my 20 students in the morning, and my 20 students in the afternoon, give or take a few, depending upon enrollment. 

While some of the names are familiar because they are repeat students or repeat families, most of the names are completely new to me.

I hold my lists in my hands and look closely at the names and try to picture what these children might look like, how they might act or how I will ever learn to pronounce or even spell their names.

The lists are a clean slate for me.  These classes will create a unique story for this school year.  I relish this thought.

Then it’s almost a dreamy, blissful, wishful state of mind that I enter. 

It will be a great year, these children will line up, they will sit for group, they will be brilliant, they will be kind to one another and they will, of course, adore me. 

I will remember their parents names, their siblings names, and what part of town they live in. 

I will have the best preschool year yet!

I enjoy that feeling of hopefulness.  I am, after all, an optimist.

Those lists make me feel like I am actually holding a great school year in the palm of my hand.

Let the new school year begin!

Mrs. V

Hello Hedgie

25 Aug

Through my window blows a cooling breeze.

Outside I hear the rustling leaves.

I have things to do and places to be.

Projects to finish and people to see.

But I feel my summer slipping away,

As I anticipate the first school day.

Of course I’ll have new students to meet,

And my teacher friends I’ll want to greet.

So my ninth year begins with a favorite friend,

Who’ll be in my classroom until it ends.

Hello dear Hedgie. 

It’s so good to see you again.

Hedgie and Jan Brett’s book Hedgie’s Surprise will be the theme this year in my classroom.  Hedgie was my classroom theme in 2007. 

I think Hedgie is adorable.  Don’t you? 

Mrs. V


The Legend of the Smurf Head

20 Aug

Near the end of the school year my director purchased a nice storage box for our outdoor sand toys.  We moved the sand toys from the depths of the storage shed out to our brand new box.  We unearthed a few treasures, and some interesting pieces.

Such as a watering can that looks a little like this:

Except that our version is kind of creepy, in a beat up, 30-year-old sort of way.  Since it is a watering can, there is a hole at the back of the head and the hat is the spout.  It is one strange looking thing, and if I dwell on it too long I might have nightmares.

Anyway, when we cleaned out the toys I just didn’t have the heart to toss it out.  Maybe I was having a little nostalgia for those strange, little and blue cartoon creatures at that particular moment, who knows.

Fast forward to the next school day.

Prince Valiant, an observant, verbal and imaginative student of mine was digging through the sand toys looking for something to play with.  Suddenly he stopped, pointed at the Smurf head watering can, looked at me, and asked with a hint of disgust “What is that?!?” 

I picked it up and replied that it was a Smurf.  Prince Valiant’s precocious response was “I know it’s a Smurf.” 

 Then he paused to think a little, and firmly added “It’s a Smurf head!” 

I laughed and asked him if he thought it was creepy as I dropped it back in the box. 

He agreed that it was creepy, but then he looked at me quite seriously and asked in a very stern voice “Did you chop off that Smurf’s head and put it in that box?” 

I reassured him that no, I did not chop off the Smurf’s head and put it in the toy box, while desperately trying not to laugh. 

I was confident that he was satisfied with my answer, since he headed back to play in the sandbox.  

My confidence did not last long because when he arrived at the sandbox he announced to his playmates that the teacher (me) had chopped off a Smurf’s head and put it in the toy box.   

A few of the kids just gave him a look as if to say “Dude, what the heck is a Smurf?”, and the rest just went about their play . 

And that my friends, is the Legend of the Smurf Head, according to Prince Valiant anyway.

I still declare my innocence.

Mrs. V