As you’ve read, I’m a retired elementary school teacher. Teaching doesn’t just leave your heart and mind when you retire. While I don’t miss the day to day of being a public school teacher, I do miss the kids and I really miss the creativity of planning and helping kids learn.
For the first nine years of my career, I taught preschool through first grade. You want to see the joy of learning? Go to an early elementary classroom! You want to see pure excitement for the adventure of learning? Go to a preschool classroom! Naturally curious. Their big minds in their little bodies are the perfect combination for loads of fun and learning.
(I also taught second grade for nine years and fifth grade for seven years. More stories for another time!)
So when my daughter-in-law was talking about needing to find a preschool/daycare for two of our treasures, my wheels started turning! That was the beginning of what S and C call GiGi School! Our littlest little J also joins us. Typically two days a week they come to our house while their Daddy and Mommy work. We play, explore, adventure, read, and talk! They are learning new things, and I’m in my element as GiGi and Teacher.
If I could get on my soapbox a minute…
Toddlers and preschoolers and even elementary students NEED to play! That is HOW they learn best. Pretending, manipulating objects, exploring how things work, seeking things, finding things, holding books, scribbling, drawing, painting, creating…you get the idea! [Side note: So much of that has been taken out of Kindergarten. I firmly believe that is one of the reasons we have so many more “behavior problems” at much earlier ages these days.] Whew! I could go on and on. I’ve written and deleted paragraphs…again…another post another day.
Back to GiGi School…
No schedules but plenty of things planned. We take the day as it comes. Since we have a three year old, a nearly two year old, and an almost one year old, our fun comes in all shapes and sizes. Their minds just soak everything up like a sponge! They remember things that amaze me. S (3 years old) says, “Let’s learn something, GiGi!” C (2 year old) says, ” ‘mon GiGi!” and pats the floor next to her so we can play with the farm animals. J (not quite a year old yet) just loves being in the middle of all the fun. They’re building their knowledge stores of Bible stories, letters and sounds, colors, counting and numbers, sharing, helping, and so much more. I get just as much out of spending dedicated time with them.
Today, I’m thankful that retirement is allowing me to continue teaching! The best part is the privilege of spending a little extra time with some of my treasures.