My preschool students get into my heart from the day they walk into the classroom until the day that they leave my care. It is always so hard for me to let go and I often wonder what will become of them. But the next class comes along and my attention is quickly drawn to the new and charming personalities.
But really, what happened to those preschoolers?
On a recent trip to the bank, I was making a transaction when a young man walked up to me and asked, "Are you Mrs. Stewart?" "Yes," I replied. He continued, "My name is Ryan M. and I remember you from preschool." As soon as Ryan mentioned his name, I remembered him. I could remember his mother's name, his brother's name, and the kind of child Ryan was as a preschooler. Ryan was now the branch manager of my bank - and to think, I knew him when he was only four!
I was invited to a special event on women's health a few months ago. The co-presenter of this very important cause was Katie D.. She was the pretty little blond hair girl that took the longest naps - we could never get her to wake up. She played hard and slept hard - and to think, I knew her when she was only four!
I was able to listen to some fabulous musicians at a recent wedding and one of those musicians was Wesley C.. Wesley told me that the one thing he remembered most from being with me was that he loved the sandbox. Today, Wesley can play any instrument you throw at him - and to think, I knew him when he was only two!
My husband and I had an employee that had gotten into a little legal trouble. Eventually the prosecuting attorney for our county had to get involved and he gave me a call. The young man on the phone was Russell C.. During our phone call, Russell told me that the one thing he remembered was the day I filled several glasses of different sizes full of water and then poured them into another glass to show they all had the same amount. He didn't know why, but he remembered that moment as being something really cool. Today, Russell has left the prosecuting office and now works in criminal law - and to think, I knew him when he was only five (or six)!
Deborah, Sammy, Chris, Gina, Taryn, Emily, Cassie....
Each of these preschoolers were in my three and four year old class. Just a few years ago they each graduated and went off to pursue their college careers. I had the privilege of attending some of the graduation open houses. I am certain I will see them again too!
The one preschooler that I have had the greatest pleasure knowing is Karena. I have known her all her life and now she is an aspiring young photographer. She has traveled all over the world - Africa, Egypt, Mexico, and Germany, and all throughout the United States. Karena is my own daughter who is now a married young woman that I am incredibly proud of!
Remember that you set the stage!
As one of the very first teachers in a preschooler's life, you set the stage for their future success in education and in life. You greatly influence your students' love for learning, music, play, friends, creativity, independance, and self-esteem. Be always aware that your role in preschool is significant.
The bond you build with your preschoolers may or may not last a lifetime but your bond will most certainly impact their future. Work diligently to help your preschool students be successful today so they are ready for the possibilities of tomorrow.