5 Things to Never Say to a Kindergarten Teacher

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Being a Kindergarten teacher is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I do. I love it and I wouldn’t trade it. I have taught other grades, K-3, and Kindergarten is really my home. That being said, I am not sure if non-teachers realize that Kindergarten isn’t exactly rainbows and unicorns (though I do get some fun pictures of them). Here are my top 5 things to never say to a Kindergarten teacher (even with the best of intentions)!

Have a Kindergarten teacher in your life? Be sure not to say these 5 things to them. Being a Kindergarten teacher is tougher than it looks!

5 Things to Never Say to a Kindergarten Teacher

There are the occasional people who, usually after going on a field trip with us, bow down in awe and say, “I never knew!” There are also people who don’t spend any time with us, but like to say things or ask questions that just come off slightly, well…annoying.

You will find some of these sayings over in the post The Truth About Teaching Kindergarten, and I have added a few more that I have loved hearing (NOT) over the years. While I am sure this post could go on and on – these 5 are recurring statements that tend to surface each school year.

Keep in mind, I do know that people more often than not do not mean anything negative with their words. I have come to the conclusion that they simply don’t get it.

Much like I am sure there are more jobs than I can count where I don’t get it either. So instead of letting myself get upset, I just come to my piece of the internet and make a list (in true teacher fashion, I suppose) and I vow to just “smile and wave boys” like the penguins of Madagascar from here on out (and if you haven’t seen Madagascar, well, you haven’t lived).

Please also know that my sarcastic responses are all in my brain and I truly am a nice person and teacher who LOVES what I do and my kiddos too!  πŸ™‚

So let’s dive right in! Here are my top 5 things to never say to a Kindergarten teacher!

1. “You teach Kindergarten? That must be pretty easy, right?” – Well, thanks for asking. I could ask you if you have ever tried to keep 30 cats in one room while also teaching them to read, but instead I will just smile and say, “No, not really…”

2. “Aww… they must be so cute” (said in a tone that sounds like I play with newborn puppies all day) Yes, they are cute. Yes, I love them. However, with any children, sometimes THEY are cute, but their actions are not. (Please, stop eating the gluestick.)

3. “It must be so fun to teach Kindergarten and play all day!” Le SIGH. Yes, it’s fun. I love it, I really do. Yes, we do play (but not all day). And if asking a 5 year old to please stop licking my shoe during the read aloud is playing, well, I am curious what play looks like to you then.

4. “I guarantee those kids would listen to me!” (said by someone who has never taught a day in their life) Okaaaay… care to put money on that? I’ve always wanted a nice vacation – maybe you could sub for me then and we will see if you make it out alive?

5. “Do they learn anything in Kindergarten?”  A simple rephrase of “So, what do they learn in Kindergarten?” is preferred and doesn’t make my eyes widen to the extent they do when Fred is playing “hungry hippos” with scissors and his friend’s hair.

There are more – I could quite possibly write a book. But – I would rather hear yours! What have people said to you about being a Kindergarten teacher (or preschool – preschool teachers get it the worst sometimes) that made you shudder (or laugh)?

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  1. This is my 3rd year teaching 4K and kindergarten. I love every minute of it! (lol yes I also question my sanity sometimes). When I meet someone and tell them what I do I always get the comment about playing all day. I know they mean well though sometimes it’s hard not to get annoyed. Yes my kids play, but they’re learning as they do. They don’t play all day. I also teach bible stories, letters, reading, writing, math, science and art. I absolutely love it!

  2. I teach PreK in a public school setting. I have been asked more than once why I didn’t get a real teaching job and why I finished my teaching degree to “just teach preschool.”
    My center is evaluated using ECERS and we use a developmentally appropriate play based curriculum. I was once told by another teacher in a training full of other Preschool teachers that our way was fun, but she was creating her own curriculum because she believed kids needed to actually learn academics, not just play. 😳😑. I believe there are only few other professions, other than ours, where keeping what you want to say from actually coming out of your mouth has to be practiced so often.

  3. Add to this, “You can’t be THAT tired!!”
    Ugggg, there is nothing wrong with being in your Jammie’s by 7, and lights out by 9! Lol

  4. As a kinder teacher we are working on letters, sounds and putting those together to form words. At the end of a very long day, one of my parents said to me, “hey, I noticed my child can read words…..I don’t know how she picked that up!” He looked really surprised. I about fell over! What must he have thought we did all day?!?!

  5. When the first grade teachers complain about a particular student’s behavior, I just say you’re welcome. This is a huge improvement over last year.
    Some people think we sing all day, too. Sing and play. This is not babysitting!
    I think the reason I stay in kindergarten is because the power of teaching someone to read is awesome!

  6. This is my 9th year in kindergarten. I absolutely love it, and yet, question my sanity at the beginning of each new school year! Last years class couldn’t have possibly been this young, right?!?

    2 things I have been asked by family members…

    Do you have to go to college to teach kindergarten? (This was by an in-law who didn’t know me in college, but still- how rude!)

    Will you get to work your way up to teaching an older grade? (This by a family member when I was so excited to have accepted my first teaching job – in kindergarten!)

    1. haha!! YES! Every year I question my sanity too. πŸ˜‰ lol then remember oh yes, that’s right, it’s September… and love it all over again.
      I have also been asked about “working my way up….” Isn’t that interesting?? That is crazy to me!! What is with that misconception? Hopefully that will change! πŸ™‚

  7. Yes, I have had many people say how fun it would be to color all day, or if I make an intelligent comment outside of school, I’ve had people say “And that was from a kindergarten teacher!” Like they were surprised I knew things outside of the kinder curriculum. Lol! I had a male HS teacher peek his head in my room one day and start asking my kids, “What does a cow say? A pig? A duck?” He was trying to be friendly, but it cracked me up because we were discussing force & motion and learning about inertia when he walked in. πŸ™‚ I feel blessed to get to watch the huge growth from beginning to end! Some people just don’t get it and that’s ok, because I do and I love it!:)

    1. I am cracking UP at someone asking your kids about farm animals! HA!!!I get that they thought it was cute – but I can totally relate because I have had people in my room when we were learning about gravity and they said “These kids learn about gravity??” and were shocked. So it’s so true that people don’t quite get what they are capable of!!

  8. I taught Kindergarten/Pre-School for 38 years While I loved every year I taught I never realized how difficult my job was till I started subbing after I retired. As rewarding as Kindergarten is you work harder then any teacher in the system and that says volumns as all teachers work hard! Over the years kindergarten has changed Don’t know if it is all for the better, but I am blessed to pass the torch to the next generations Love those babies every day! And also wine at night does help! LOL

    1. Kudos to you Michele and your wonderful teaching career- that’s awesome! I am sure going back to subbing after retiring is hard! Subbing is hard enough as it is, especially in the younger grades sometimes! πŸ™‚

  9. Just had a sub this week I was talking too. Sharing kindergarten is a beast of its own. That I love but subbing is hard especially in kindergarten and she said oh yes I know. My mom is a teacher but as she spent the day in my room she didn’t move from the desk all day. So I heard it was a rough day in kindergarten. I love how she seemed so confident but not so much. My aide and secretary had to take over on certain duties throughout the day. Oh my!

  10. I teach kinder. One day my teammate had a sub in her room. When we asked if he needed anything, he told us that he usually subbed for high school math. He thought he would just come play with play doh for a change of pace. You can imagine how that turned out. ?

  11. This is so well written and completely true! Kinder is truly where my heart is, but please don’t comment silly things such as above if you really have no idea! I politely say what a challenge it is and how lucky I am to be chosen for such a task. Adding to the list my favorite I often hear is, why do you need a nap?!

    1. I love your response about it’s a challenge but you are lucky to be doing it – that’s a great response. πŸ™‚ And do you guys get to nap? We need to for sure, but don’t get to (but we have a small rest time). Sometimes people think we take a long nap in between our “coloring” – haha!! If they only knew …. πŸ˜‰

      1. Naps?! A few minutes of
        quiet time is about it. And
        We all know “quiet”‘doesn’t necessarily mean silent or still!😜

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