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March 7, 2011

How Soon We Forget

Written By: Wendy Cushing
Category: Career Path
X How Soon We Forget - School Things We Forget

 How Soon We Forget - School Things We Forget

Technically, I had only been unemployed for a little over 6 months before returning to work last month as a part time kindergarten intervention specialist.  And yet it’s amazing how fast I had forgotten the grind of working, particularly those extra special nuances of the job when you’re a teacher.  Here is just a smattering of the things I seem to have forgotten…

The Things We Forget

*  God bless them….Kindergartners are the most flagrant, bold, in-your-face, unabashedly, unashamed nose-pickers on the planet earth.  Gaze out over the book you are reading to a group of them, and there will be at least 6 fingers merrily trolling away.

*  Getting up after sitting for 30 minutes on an ice cold tile floor is much easier to do when you’re 5 than when you’re 45.

*  A teacher’s bladder is a powerful thing.

*  The hamburgers are still gray.

*  Tater tots can turn a bad day into a glad day

*  Milk containers were not designed for 5-year-old fingers to open.

*  Visiting the teacher’s room will make you fat even if there is Diet Coke in the soda machine.

*  There is no such thing as a constant room temperature in a school building.

*  The air in any given classroom at any given time is as dry as the Mojave, Gobi, Sahara…pick a desert, any desert.

*  Yet, somehow, the main office is always the perfect room temperature.  Regardless of the season.

*  The incubation period of any given illness after having been in a classroom is exactly 8 hours.  This would explain the sore throat I woke up with the morning after my first day on the job.

*  Talking in an slightly slowed down, exaggerated version of your normal voice all day is exhausting.

*  Teachers get nervous on the first day, too.

*  Any and all “duties” are chaos-filled, loud, and slightly scary.

*  I don’t care what baloney any of those “half a day, half a year” naysayers spout:  Teachers are some of the hardest working people anywhere.  Ever.

*  They’re also some of the most welcoming, supportive folks, too.

*  There will NEVER be just one kid at a time who needs a drink of water, needs to use the bathroom, or needs to go to the nurse.  These are contagious classroom epidemics that occur most frequently during pivotal lessons.  And lunchtime.

*  Kids have a way of making you laugh no matter how crummy your day is going.

*  On any given day, a 6-year-old will hand you a pearl of wisdom that demonstrates deeper insight into life than any adult could muster.

*  The smell of paste, dry erase markers, laminating, erasers shavings, and tater tots means I am home again!




About the Author

Wendy Cushing is an 18-year veteran teacher who recently survived two consecutive reduction in force lay-offs and many months in the job market before recently landing a job as a Kindergarten Intevention Specialist.  She is the proud mother of two wonderful daughters:  a first grader and a college freshman at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.  Wendy writes a monthly column here at the Teacher’s Lounge chronicling her experiences as a teacher, both employed and unemployed, and serves as a freelance writer for Really Good Stuff’s product development department.  She also blogs about teaching, parenting, and international adoption at



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  • Amber J
    March 24, 2011

    I audibly laughed as I went through this! It’s been 4 years of 3rd grade since I taught Kindergarten…it’s like a whole different world! I will say, though, any time you have a room full of children (no matter the age) you’re in for an experience like no other! Thanks! 🙂

  • Jenn
    March 13, 2011

    yes! so true! I enjoyed realizing that yes, our students are children first.

  • Laura Braunel
    March 12, 2011

    I was smiling and nodding the whole way through. All of it is so true. 🙂

  • Debbie
    March 12, 2011

    I could relate with all of these…and my students are 5 years older than yours!

  • Angela
    March 12, 2011

    Awww. Sweet and funny both. I love my job. 🙂

  • Rhonda Guinn
    March 9, 2011

    I love it! Thanks for sharing! 😉

  • Wendy Harris
    March 9, 2011

    This is sooo funny! I loved the one about the bathroom. That is a classic.

  • Wendy
    March 7, 2011

    Thanks for the kind words, Ladies! The chicken patties are grey, too, but I didn’t want to diss the cafeteria too much! They do have control over the tater tots after all!

  • Cheryl
    March 7, 2011

    Your words are so true! Thanks for putting a smile on my face this morning! 🙂

  • Colleen
    March 7, 2011

    Exactly what we need…sense of humor! A lot still applies at 4th grade too! Don’t forget the greenish gray hotdogs!

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