What I learned in preschool: How to find the rhythm

Listening to a room full of three year olds singing (or trying to sing) The Hokey Pokey and Five Little Monkey’s is both hysterical and terrifying.

These little monsters are still learning their left from right (although to be fair, sometimes I struggle with that too) so I have to keep my expectations in check when they are singing along to anything. They like to either shout all the words, because they think that means they are singing faster; or they will whisper while doing the hand motions because they are focusing so hard on learning the “choreography”. There is a very very very small in between those two reactions.

I have some who can more or less keep tempo, some who can sing in a normal indoor voice, and some who can even do the first two at the same time. Truly an accomplishment.

But to their credit, those who have a hard time with volume and pitch and tempo still try. They still sing and dance and look very ridiculous doing the Baby Shark song and yes, it is cute watching them. They still try even when they are not exactly sure what they are doing and watch me like a hawk to try and mimic my movements. Which, no pressure, but I accidentally yawned in the middle of a song yesterday and covered my mouth with my hand reflexively, and funny enough, most of the kiddos copied my motion without even questioning it.

The school’s daily curriculum is set up such that its very regimented and repetitive. Each morning we dance and sing, go through the daily calendar, pick line leader, etc. So the students know what’s coming next. They know what to expect, even if they can’t remember the name of the month or day when I ask them. Each. Morning.

As for me, I sometimes forget the order of the morning meeting routine even though I’m the one running the show. I forget to sing the days of the week song, I miss the shape of the day, I have to backtrack to looking at the daily weather wheel, and somedays I forget to pick the line leader (although the kiddos always remind me when I forget that one). So I guess I’m the same as the munchkins in that regard, I know what’s coming next, but I still flub the lines.

It’s comforting and sometimes frustrating knowing we have a set daily routine to go through. I’m not exactly on autopilot yet with things; clearly, because I’m still forgetting the small things… but I’ll get there. I at least know what the normal routine is supposed to look like now. Just like the kids know what the routine should look like too, even if some choose to selectively and conveniently forget that they need to sit down and pay attention, but deep down they know.

Bottom line: reestablishing autopilot it hard.

I had a good routine back home; wake up, work (that was always a toss up with how that day would go though), gym, dinner, bed. Basically my week in a nutshell. Here, yes, it’s preschool each day, but then some days I have after school english lessons, some days I need to run to the store because I need food, some days I get turned around walking home, some days I end up staying at school until 7:30 pm either due to late classes or extra prep for tomorrow. The fluctuation is incredible and I’m having a time trying to remember which days I have what and which days I need to plan extra for.

Perhaps by the time I figure out a new routine here is when the munchkins will learn how to stay on beat for Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.

I wonder who will find the rhythm first?

12 thoughts on “What I learned in preschool: How to find the rhythm

  1. H T

    Your posts are so entertaining, Allie. They remind me of my summers teaching in a daycare and as a nanny. I vividly remember my first preschool teacher, Mrs. Parker, the warmth and love she showed me, and the song about eating a tiger, a tall giraffe, and an elephant (“they’re animal crackers and none of them are reee-all!”) These children are fortunate to have you as their teacher, and they share with you because they have identified you as someone who cares about them. They see your big heart and connect with you there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. allisonjamie

      Aw Mrs. T, thanks for such kind words! That animal cracker song sounds cute and like something my little ones would enjoy, I’ll have to investigate that, and see what our policy is for bringing in snacks. Thank you for reading my little diary posts and for taking the time to leave such sweet responses! They make me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carla Larson

    New and exciting challenges and successes every day. It’s what makes teaching so much fun! Sounds as though you are doing well in your new job. Just never let the kids see you sweat!
    Aunt Carla

    Liked by 1 person

  3. alliezimmitti

    Hello Allison! This is AM, one of your Mom’s dear friends. I know I’m using Blog like Email, but at least I’m trying! I really appreciate your updates about the children you are teaching. I remember your Parents Wedding. I remember holding you in my arms as a newborn in Trenton. I miss PM very much as I’m sure you do also. AM

    Liked by 2 people

    1. allisonjamie

      Hi AM! You are most welcome to use this blog like email!! That is more than okay! It should be me thanking you for leaving me little stories about my Mom, I appreciate those more than you can imagine. Please feel free to keep sending them, I always read each one and smile. Thank you for keeping her memory alive each time you share something like that with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. alliezimmitti

        Hello Allison, hope all is going well with you & your Kiddies in Japan!
        Just want to share another memory of your Mom with you! We used to go shopping more than we studied at
        Ryder’s/Rider’s in Lawrenceville, NJ.
        We used to sit at my apartment in Plainsboro, NJ, study for awhile, then get bored, and go shopping!
        Always bought something.
        Take care!
        Love you!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. allisonjamie

      I have a basket of paper Ladybug’s that I made that has each students’ name on it and the previous day’s line leader gets to pick the new ones. Each class in this school is called something different. Youngest is the Bumblebee’s, then Ladybug’s (me), Butterfly’s, Dragonfly’s are the oldest.


  4. alliezimmitti

    Hi Allison! I hope things are going well with you in Japan. I don’t really know Word Press, I’m struggling with how to communicate with you, that’s why I’m only doing it when I can! I did subscribe to your Blog, but don’t know if I really did. Can you please give me some advice?

    How long do you think you’ll be in Japan for?

    Love you!



    1. allisonjamie

      Hi AM! I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner, life here got really busy and I just haven’t had time, sorry. But yes! You are subscribed to this blog, I can see it on the admin side of this and you will receive notifications when I post a new story on here…. I just haven’t posted anything new in a while. You can always go to the “Contact Me” button at the top of the page and that will send an email directly to me personally. But you are more than welcome to keep posting comments on here as well, I see them all!

      Love, Allie


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