A few months after I graduated college, I took on the lead preschool teaching position for a classroom of 16 two to five year olds. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Although thankfully I did have the support of other adults, nothing had, or could have really, I believe now, prepared me for the experience of managing an entire classroom of preschoolers. Funnily enough, as I struggled to define and articulate myself after leaving the familiarity of college behind, I found myself in preschool, where that’s what life’s all about-- being curious, confused, wondrous, silly, and downright mad at times. Preschooland humorously explores kids’ natural lack of inhibitions as they delve into the world around them, pushing viewers to question society’s imposition of adulthood, the dissuasion of goofiness and imagination, and the stagnancy of self growth, and personhood.
To create an emotionally-supportive and structured learning environment, I wrote curriculum, but also listened loved, cared, and mediated.The younger kids in my class weren’t always even entirely convinced that people other than themselves had feelings!
There were tantrums, accidents, and free-drawing sometimes included decorating the walls in addition to one’s own paper, but the humor of it all always carried me through. I loved the kids dearly, and still visit them when I can. In preschool, I believe I created some of the strongest bonds I’ve ever created with individuals. Kids will love you, purely love you; they will recognize and accept your faults, understanding that we are all still learning how to care, be patient, educate, listen, and learn. At preschool, I realized that even in adulthood, my growth as a person has the potential to be infinite.
Preschooland is about respecting and listening to young people’s voices as individuals. I want you to take them seriously, and empathize with genuine sincerity, as they would you. Yet also, as they would recognize that nothing in life should ever be taken too seriously, I want you to laugh. We might not still painstakingly apply fingerpaint to our lips, while pretending to be “grown-up,” or play make-believe and dress up as the characters we want to be when we grow up… Although, maybe…
Ultimately, while trying to make sense of it all, I want you to find the humor in the midst of the chaos. Also, don’t forget to ask yourself: who are you learning to become? Who do you want to be when you grow up?