School Days and Preschool Days, Too:
A treasury of anecdotes culled from my work and play as a preschool worker and an elementary school after- school activities supervisor


     The exploratory, power-testing games in the play yard need to be monitored by teachers for a number of reasons. In the frenzy that can accompany this kind of play, an aggressor can start to hit or paw with nails, the way he imagines a real dinosaur might. In addition, the victims can feel their space has been invaded and hit back, even when there's been no physical assault.
      Many children, just like adults, can dish it out but they can't take it. A little girl may finish being a "pterodactyl" terrorizing a village, only to cry when one of the victims morphs into a dragon who roars and "breathes fire" down her neck.
     Sometimes the energy in our yard feels truly wild, as one of our resident "monsters"—one of the precocious actors with a real aptitude for fierceness—chases a whole line of classmates from one end of the play yard to the other.
     "Jack's a monster!" one of the besieged pauses long enough to inform me before fleeing on. I often use my response to try, without destoying everyone's fun, to tone down the panic, since mock panic can so easily become real panic.
     "We don't have any monsters at our school," I point with one finger while trying to reassure my informant. "The school for monsters is way over there, over the next hill."
     God Knows what the effect of these words is—probably minimal, as the children are too involved in their game to process them. Usually, the chasee insists, "No, Jack really is a monster!" and runs on.
     Hopefully, these children won't grow up believing that there really is a school for monsters half a mile away, nor, for that matter, that Jack really was a monster.

continued   back   contents   title page

 "What Remains Is the Essence", the home pages of Max Reif:
poetry, children's stories, "The Hall of Famous Jokes", whimsical prose, paintings, spiritual recollectionand much more!

Enjoy the stories? Have any of your own ?
introduce yourself:

send an e-mail my way
sign my Guestbook