What preschool teachers do

Employment means that in addition to collecting a paycheck, I’m collecting countless stories, hilarious anecdotes and enlightening observations that I can never share online or in writing or in passing with anyone who knows someone who might know someone – which is mostly everyone in suburbia – especially Jewish suburbia.   ‘Tis an itty-bitty world here in the Jewburbs, and that means that as far as you and I are concerned, everything is copasetic, and everyone I know is an absolute delight. 

It’s not that I have salacious or damning news about kids or parents or coworkers, but sharing anything that is not my tale to tell, well, I’d be disbarred and shunned in the blogosphere.  Pity really.  So much material.  Never mind.  I have plenty to say about my own stuff.  I am full of blog worthy stuff.

Also, during preschool hours, my jacket pockets are full of stuff.  They are full with tissues steeped in gelatinous mucus after having wiped noses clean from impossibly voluminous expulsions:  All.  Morning.  Long.

I spend a significant percentage of my day wiping noses because that’s what preschool teachers do (in addition to guiding precious children down paths of exploration and discovery).  I pack the right pocket with clean tissues at the beginning of the day, and by the end of the morning, if I’ve not come across a trash can, I’ve transferred all the used tissues from my right pocket to my left pocket until my left pocket becomes a massive tissue tumor; a protrudent bulge of collected class phlegm.  A germ-infested terrarium of snot.  It’s not a pocket any longer.  It’s a snocket. 
Is that a tissue wad in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?  Sorry.  Tissue wad.

“Why don’t the parents keep those kids home?” I childless friend asked.  “If they are clearly dripping germs, they’re sick, right?  Shouldn’t they be home where they can sniffle, snort and sneeze without contaminating everyone else?”

I certainly wouldn’t mind instituting a mucus-free policy at preschool. You ooze, you lose!   But I was that preschool mom not too long ago – as in last year.  I was that parent who sent my cold infested child to school and went home grateful that he was someone else’s problem for a few hours while I disinfected my house. 

Our preschool may have had a policy that I conveniently ignored, but I had one of my own.  If you can stand up, you can go to school.  Breathing is optional.  Exemptions of that policy included vomit and fever because of the judging.  Also, because at the point of vomit or fever, the kids were so lethargic and limp, that I could prop them on a sofa against a pile of pillows to watch television and ignore them for most of the day.   And also they were probably really sick.

Karma is, as we know, a bee-atch.  After a cumulative 6 years of knowingly sending the boys to school with coughs and colds, the universe has unleashed a mighty snot-nami upon me, and I have no choice but to accept my lot with a smile and a pocket full of tissue.

So, if you see me at any point during the daylight hours, I wouldn’t shake my hand, if I were you. In spite of best washing efforts, I’m probably coated with a bevy of bacterium.  Groping is safer….and encouraged.

3 thoughts on “What preschool teachers do

  1. My immune system got so much stronger after several years of teaching kindergarten and being sneezed and coughed on throughout the day. I barely flinch when it happens now.

    But here’s what I do about tissues: I hand the kid a tissue, tell them to wipe their nose and then put the tissue in their pocket. It encourages independence! And it keeps their snot in their own pockets! Of course, I’m not sure what age you’re teaching. But honestly, anything above age 3 I say they can put the tissues in their own pockets! 🙂

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