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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

How to live with a kindergarten teacher

My best friend is an aspiring kindergarten teacher. And although I don’t live with her, between our sleepovers every weekend (this year and last) and the fact that I spend approximately 7.5 hours with her everyday, I feel like I’m an accountable source. Here is my best free advice on how to live with a (future) kindergarten teacher: 

Be willing to sit at a coffee shop for hours (and I mean hours)

Biokinetics is hard and nursing makes people wonder why they ever chose that path for their lives, but elementary education is a whole other ball game. I’ve never met someone with so much busy work — and I’m a communications major. I swear she is busier than most people. Between 2,000-word reflection papers, three-hour documentaries about gender equity and the hours she spends student teaching and volunteering, her Google calendar is booked from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights. That said, be prepared to sit in a coffee shop on the weekends for hours while she completes her homework. And no, you cannot talk. You just sit there with AirPods in and a half-drank vanilla latte between the two of you. And once you’ve finished your assignments, you can’t leave, so find a nice chair by the window and “people watch” while you wait; it makes the time go by faster. 

Serve in the Sunday school at church 

If you live with a kindergarten teacher, you should probably like kids. And if you don’t, well … you will. Be prepared to wake up at 7:30 a.m. one Sunday each month so that she can serve in the first grade Sunday school class at your church — which is a 30-minute drive. Always make sure you have coffee and a positive attitude — you’ll need it. Be prepared to color with a little girl who showed up in her pretty pink church dress, play endless games of Uno with all the little boys who only want to beat you or sprint across the gym playing ships across the ocean while 6-year-olds chase you into the wall. You do this because you love Jesus, but you also do this with her because serving at a church looks really good on a teacher’s résumé. 

Buy crayons and colored pencils so you can try out her activities

Always have crayons or colored pencils in your backpack or in your desk drawer. I actually love this rule, because coloring is one of the best things in the entire world. She will undoubtedly always have a coloring sheet in her folder tucked away in her backpack. There are times, though, when you might think she’s giving you a coloring sheet and it turns out to be a multiplication table test — always be on your guard. Never complain or argue with her when she asks you to complete the worksheet. And don’t be embarrassed when you mess up on the equations — math is hard whether you are 6 years old or 20. 

Stay up to date on the most popular children’s books

Empathize with her crazy assignments. Like when she has to create a presentation about finding and reviewing 40 different children’s books. We went down memory lane for this one. “The Magic Tree House,” “Junie B. Jones,” “Pinkalicious,” “Fancy Nancy,” the list goes on and on. And now I carry around “Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren” at all times, because you never know when she’ll need it. Also, it’s just a great read. The upstairs children’s section in the Bethel Library is where you can now find me 60% of the time. 

Be ready to act out her lesson plan

Sometimes, you are acting as a plastic bag floating in the clouds. Now pretend you are a plastic bag that is being deflated and falling from the sky. Now imagine you are splattered on the ground. Good job! That was a good lesson, yet to this day I have no idea what I was learning. Other times, she’ll have you sit criss-cross applesauce on her carpet while she reads to you. Sometimes, you’ll be content doing your own assignments and she’ll write words on the whiteboard that you have to sound out. Hopefully you remember what sound the letter “A” makes or what a noun is. Participate with a willing heart; a quick grammar lesson is helpful every once in a while. 

Remember the names of all her students 

She will come home from her student teaching with the funniest stories ever. I guarantee this because kids are absolutely hilarious. So don’t forget their names. Remember Leo, Oliver and Emily, who are her favorites (even though teachers don’t have favorites). 

She gives up movie nights in Lissner, sledding on Sem Hill and Timberwolves games so she can excel in her major. She works hard because she is passionate about teaching the next generation – and she rarely complains. So the least I can do is be excited to listen to what she’s learning about and what she’s teaching. Because who knows? Maybe someday she’ll be teaching my kids.

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About the Contributor
Taylor Hanson, Sports Editor
Taylor Hanson, 19, is a sophomore organizational communications major with a journalism minor. Taylor is involved at Bethel as a Shift leader and as the Director of Intramurals. She loves finding coffee shops tucked away in the cities, going to any athletic event or scootering around campus with her friends.  [email protected] | 720.425.5218
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