Kindergarten Kids Remind Me of Las Vegas.

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No, they don’t have creepy thin mustaches like Wayne Newton (although it would be really cool if they did).

And they don’t take all my money and leave me sad and depressed (turns out what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… especially when my money is involved).playdough

But every year I get the same feeling from the brand new crop of 5 year olds.

They are so excited.

Their parents are thrilled to finally have them in school (no more paying for babysitting!!!).  Those aren’t tears of sadness from mom and day, they are tears of joy.

These kids love to color.

And count.

And play.

And they love to look at picture books about dogs and cats  (why are they always dogs and cats???).

And evidently go to the bathroom, because it seems that’s where they’re always headed (if I had a dollar for every kid who forgot to zip his pants…).

It’s a commonly known school administrator practice to go down to the kindergarten room anytime you’re having a bad day.

They cheer you up.  And if they can’t, who can?

Their smiles and laughter.

Their happiness and joy.

When I see these kids learning to read or shoving Play-Doh up their noses, I always wonder who in this esteemed group will be valedictorian or prom queen.

One of these youngsters will no doubt be the starting quarterback.  Several will earn college scholarships.

There might even be a doctor or lawyer in the group.

But with good always comes bad.

I’ve done this long enough to know for every success there is going to be struggle.

Which makes me think.  Who in this group will have difficult challenges as they work their way through life?

There will be learning disabilities.  Divorced parents.  Financial difficulties.

The truth is some will face challenges I don’t even want to think about.

That’s why every kindergarten class reminds me of Las Vegas.

On the surface, everything is wonderful.  But just underneath things aren’t quite so perfect.

In the course of writing(?) this blog, I depressed myself.  First thing in the morning, I’m going to visit the kindergarten kids.  They always make me happy.

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10 Responses to “Kindergarten Kids Remind Me of Las Vegas.”

  1. Shelly Burns
    on Sep 4th, 2011
    @ 2:05 pm

    Having an early childhood background and having taught kinder for 9 years, that’s where my heart is! What you say is true! In fact, after spending entirely too much time in my office working on transportation issues, entering testing data, and other paper related items, I needed to get out. So, where did I go…the music classroom with kindergarten. After 5 minutes of singing and playing a game with them, I was happy again. It’s amazing what those little faces can do for you!!

  2. Karen Marcus
    on Sep 4th, 2011
    @ 4:07 pm

    I spent the bulk of 28 years with kindergarten. They are beasts unto themselves and my best stories come from them. I should write a book…..

  3. Audrey Noonan
    on Sep 4th, 2011
    @ 4:47 pm

    While it is true that some kids will have to deal with many struggles, one of the beautiful things about little kids is that they are full of unlimited potential! They haven’t been told that they are bad at subjects or developed negative images of themselves as learners. It’s our job as teachers to help them keep that positivity and enthusiasm for learning as they get older. I hope your school year is off to a great start!

  4. Taylor Lane
    on Sep 4th, 2011
    @ 11:21 pm

    This is great perspective. At that age most children don’t have much experience with either success or emotional/physical struggle. I think that it is an inspiration to everyone to see children live at their purest. I mean at that point no one cares about much except boys think girls are icky and girls think boys are smelly. Thanks for the perspective.

  5. Pat
    on Sep 5th, 2011
    @ 3:34 am

    This had me think:
    Who will I make a difference in their lives?
    How will I do this?
    Who will make a difference in mine?
    How will they do this?

    Great post as usual! Don’t forget the hugs! They love to hug!

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Pat, Hugs???

    I’m not a big fan of the hugs.

  6. Alfred Thompson
    on Sep 6th, 2011
    @ 3:23 pm

    My first year of teaching I was a computer specialist for grades K-8 and started my week off with Kindergarten. If you have to work on a Monday morning starting with kindergarten is not a bad way to go. Seriously!

  7. Dwight Capshaw
    on Sep 9th, 2011
    @ 3:58 pm

    Wonderful post. Your blog just got a new reader.

  8. Kristen Phelps
    on Sep 24th, 2011
    @ 11:31 pm

    Hi Mr. Smith,
    I am a student in Dr. Stranges’ EDM310 course at the University of South Alabama and I was assigned to comment on your blog. I want you to know that I absolutely love your blog, I think you’re hilarious. I read several of your posts but I picked this post to comment on because I hope to teach Kindergarten. Like you said, there’s just something about Kindergartners and all their enthusiasm that warms my heart! Thank you for sharing! I will definitely be back to check out more of your posts!

  9. Kim
    on Nov 13th, 2011
    @ 11:19 am

    Nice one! I really enjoy your older blogs :)

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