“Miss, just because you look like a princess doesn’t mean you can talk to me”

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Kindergarten Teacher Charlotte Garner working with students PHOTO: St. Christopher’s CPS

When you teach Kindergarten you get to experience the adoration of thirty-two students as well as their brutal honesty. From fashion tips to marriage advice, you get it all.

Charlotte Garner, Katie Penman, Victoria Lissikatos, the Kindergarten Team from St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School, Panania, reflect on life as a Kindy teacher.

“Miss, just because you look like a princess doesn’t mean you can talk to me” 

The job description of a Kindy teacher entails a variety of attributes from being the classroom nurse, the seeker of lost things to channeling your inner TV presenters. 

Working within a Catholic school, we get the incredible job of celebrating the wonder of God through the eyes of little people. Students have the opportunity to learn about Christ through experiences such as Scripture, Church visits, and Prayer.

Sometimes they take the notion of ‘God is always with us’ too literally. At school, the Year 6 Religious Education monitors pray the Angelus over the loudspeaker. One day a child whispered during the prayer, “is that God speaking?”

Each year the students in Kindergarten are given the opportunity to visit our Catholic Church next to the school on a regular basis to learn about all of the sacred objects. During their visit, students are encouraged to ask questions about the Church and discuss the sacred objects they can see.

Whilst maintaining the integrity of each item, sometimes the terminology can become challenging, especially when a five year old refers to the Tabernacle as ‘The Cabanossi’. 

The Kindergarten Team at St. Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Panania, Charlotte Garner, Katie Penman, Victoria Lissikatos. PHOTO: St. Christopher’s CPS

Whilst maintaining the integrity of each item, sometimes the terminology can become challenging, especially when a five year old refers to the Tabernacle as ‘The Cabanossi’.

Kindergarten students are captivating storytellers and love, sorry scratch that, MUST share their stories at the most inappropriate times. Take for example in the midst of an explicit Maths lesson on patterns, one child’s anecdote creates a choir of important, however irrelevant facts:

  • “Miss, did you shave your eyebrows off?” 
  • “Do you have a boyfriend?”  
  • “My mum farts ALL the time!” 

Most little people believe the literal meaning of everything. Sometimes the meaning of commonly used idioms are misunderstood. Simple sayings like ‘pull your socks up’, ‘use your elbow grease’, and ‘hop up off the floor’ can result in, high socks, bruised elbows, and thirty-two students turning your floor into an impromptu trampoline. 

However manic your day might be, kindergarten will quickly remind you, just how loved and adored you are. With their daily affirmations, handwritten letters, birthday invitations, and endless hugs, you are left with a sense of appreciation for the work that you do. 

Kindergarten Teacher Victoria Lissikatos helps students learning to write PHOTO: St. Christopher’s CPS

We will leave you with some helpful tips on how we survive kindergarten each day; 

  1. Never tie a wet shoelace on a sunny day
  2. Only use one step instruction at a time
  3. Bandaids are your best friend
  4. Officeworks is a teacher’s Bunnings
  5. Get used to responding to many names..especially Mum 
  6. There is no such thing as personal space
  7. Jesus turned water into wine for a reason 

The joys of teaching far outweigh the challenges that teachers face. Being able to instill a love of learning and a love for Christ, we endeavour as Catholic educators to make a positive impact where students enter to learn and leave to serve. 

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