Hi! My name is Greg Smedley-Warren, better known as Mr. Greg or Smorgie or The Kindergarten Smorgasboard! My blog is The Kindergarten Smorgasboard, and my TpT store has the same name, too. I’ve been teaching for 10 years, seven of those in Kindergarten! I started my blog just over four years ago and started TpT about six months after my blog. Blogging and TpT have opened a world of amazing, supportive, giving, and fun teachers that inspire me every day. And I’ve been blessed to make great friends and find my tribe! I live in Nashville, TN with my husband, Jason (The Mister), and our Goldendoodles LuLu and Butters.
Kindergarten is a world unto itself. Ask any Kindergarten teacher, and he or she will tell you. We might be in the same building or on the same hallway as other grades, but face it: We’re special, and we like it that way! So, today I’m going to share five questions you might not want to ask a Kindergarten teacher…
Pause. Wait for head to stop spinning. No, we don’t play all day. We work very hard. Our students work so hard, in fact, that many of them go from not being able to write their names to being readers in nine short months. That ain’t playing, folks! But we do have a blast every day. We sing, we dance, we laugh. We make a lot of noise and a lot of messes. So yes, we’re having fun, but we’re hard at work, too. You just can’t see the work for the fun!
Ummmm what’s nap time?!?! I mean, if anyone is getting a nap in my classroom, it’s me! Nap time doesn’t exist in most Kindergarten classrooms. We go for a full day with no nap. Now, at the beginning of the year, I give my kids quiet time after recess. And listen, if one of my sweeties falls asleep during the day, I cover them up and let them sleep! But if I fall asleep… well, let’s just hope they cover me up and they’re all still there when I wake up.
Hmmm, let’s see. Lock myself in a small room and leave 15-30 five-year-olds alone for more than two seconds? No thank you. The kids would mutiny, lock me in the bathroom, and take over the school. Besides, have you been in a Kindergarten bathroom?? It ain’t for the faint of heart, and it isn’t somewhere you want to spend quality time. But all great Kindergarten teachers have mastered the potty dash, if totally necessary. You have two minutes with no sweeties, you can be in and out and ready to teach and still have a minute to spare. True story!
Um, let’s try that again. Five-year-olds are the most honest, open, and unfiltered population out there. Period. They will point out every bad outfit choice, bad hair day, wrinkle, pimple, gray hair, and bag under your eye. They will judge your choice of clothing, your singing, your dancing. And yes, they will tell you that you look fat on video. But that pales in comparison to the fact that they can correctly pronounce every single dinosaur name. Every. Single. One. And when the principal is observing you teaching a dinosaur lesson, they will in fact, correct you (loudly) when you say a dinosaur name wrong. But you can overlook that because they will also be open with how much they love you and how you’re the best teacher they’ve ever had. And they will give you unlimited hugs. Even on bad hair days and bad outfit choice days.
Glitter is required. End of discussion.
Kindergarten is the stepping stone to school and education. It’s where the journey begins. It’s cute and fun and messy and loud. But it’s important and necessary and it’s harder than you can ever imagine! But above all, it is so incredibly rewarding.
Greg Smedley-Warren began his teaching career 10 years ago. He spent a year teaching 5th grade, two years in 2nd grade, and is now in his 8th year teaching Kindergarten. Greg received his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his ELL certification from David Lipscomb University. At the start of his career he spent two summers teaching in Ecuador, which only helped to further ignite the flames of his passion for teaching. Greg loves blogging and conducting professional development sessions to help teachers around the world make their classrooms a more fun, effective, and interactive place to teach. When he’s not in the classroom, blogging, and doing all things teach, he enjoys spending time with his family. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his husband (known as The Mister on his blog), and their dogs, Butters and LuLu.