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A Certain Type of Teacher

To say I helped–even a fraction–in my son’s preschool class on Wednesday would be a stretch.

My mother-in-law helped in my stead.

I bumbled in on crutches.  At which time I was shown to a black plastic chair where I hovered like a lump with one leg unbent mentally begging no child to come close.  Not even my own.

As the controlled chaos began, I watched to see what constituted as learning. One kid was already clothed in a doctor’s lab coat–her patient in a coma on the floor. Another had a stethoscope and was making rounds listening for everyone’s heart beat on their forehead.  Two were taking lunch orders in aprons and making cloth quesadillas.  A handful were pounding real nails in real wood with real hammers with safety goggles on sideways or around their neck.  And one was making a real pizza at our pizza station.  The room was ringing…

And I mean ringing.

I took a breath for Miss Cindy whose own turquoise sweater was being pulled together and rebuttoned by a little girl who stood near asking a question.  I flinched as two hands encircled Miss Cindy’s mouth like a small megaphone.

In four minutes I confirmed what I already suspected: it takes a certain type to teach preschool, a certain type to love a bundle of kids who still can’t tie their own shoes; a certain type to ahh over squiggles and heap praise for a patient hand in the air.

I shook my head.  I was not the certain type.

And yet I yearned for the Miss Cindys and the Miss Zaydas to know how valuable they are, how far-reaching their love is.

For without them, I would not have a son saying reverently at home, “I LOVE preschool!”

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