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How Teaching Kindergarten is Like an 80s Song

Matthew Halpern

How Teaching Kindergarten is Like an 80s Song"Forever young, I want to be forever young" ~ Alphaville

I grew up in the 80’s. I’m a sucker for 80’s music; it’s sad, but true. Lately, as I listen to my massive collection of 80’s tunes, I started thinking, being a kindergarten teacher is a lot like an 80’s song…

Safety Dance by Men Without Hats

We can dance if we want to,

We can leave your friends behind

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‘Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance

Well they're no friends of mine

In kindergarten we dance. If you don’t dance, well, come into my room and you will.

Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles

All the kids in the marketplace say

Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh

Walk like an Egyptian

Walking down the hallway with a gaggle of five-year-olds in tow is a science. Keeping them relatively calm and quiet is a no small undertaking. We tip toe, wave our arms, and yes, walk like an Egyptian… hey, kindergartners think it’s hilarious.

Hold Me Now by The Thompson Twins

Hold me now, warm my heart, stay with me, let loving start (let loving start)

One of the biggest lessons I learned this year is that kindergartners love to hug. They practically beg to be hugged. When I stand at the cafeteria door wishing them a nice lunch, as they walk past me, I get hugged by each child. Every single one.

Abracadabra by The Steve Miller Band

Abra-abra-cadabra, I want to reach out and grab ya, Abra-abra-cadabra, Abracadabra

There is magic in just about everything we do. Finish a book, applause! Turn white flowers blue with food coloring and water, applause! Make symmetrical paintings by painting half the paper and folding it, applause! You get the idea.

Vacation by The Go Go’s

Vacation, All I ever wanted, Vacation, Had to get away

There’s no denying it. Teachers get a lot of time off. That being said, we need it. I need my time of to relax, regroup and recharge.

Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light,

He's gotta be sure, And it's gotta be soon,

And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Like it or not, when you teach young children, you are a hero… Plain and simple. I wear my cape with pride.

Voices Carry by Til Tuesday

Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry

You can try with all your might, but teaching kindergarten means learning to love the voices. Mrs. D., my neighboring teacher, jokes that only a kindergarten teacher can assess students one on one while the rest of the class partakes in Dress Up, Blocks, Kitchen, Legos, and Puzzles. It is a skill for sure.

Dress You Up by Madonna

Gonna dress you up in my love, in my love, All over your body, all over your body

Dress up has to be one of the craziest things about kindergarten. The kids constantly amaze me with the outfits they come up with. I’ve been proposed to and arrested by the same purse toting cop in the Dress Up area.

I’m So Excited by The Pointer Sisters

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it

My sprouts are excited by just about anything… and they do have a propensity to lose control… every once in awhile, it can be freeing to let yourself behave like a five-year-old. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

You with the sad eyes, Don’t be discouraged,

Oh I realize, It’s hard to take courage In a world full of people,

You can lose sight of it all,

And the darkness inside you,

Can make you fell so small,

But I see your true colors,

Shining through I see your true colors,

And that's why I love you,

So don't be afraid to let them show, Your true colors,

True colors are beautiful, Like a rainbow

If nothing else, I want my sprouts to hear these words and know how true they are.

Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House

Hey now, hey now, Don't dream it's over

When the last day comes, I know it will be bittersweet. This journey we’ve taken together will, like it or not, be over.


How is your classroom like an 80s song? Share in the comments section!


Reprinted with permission from Matt’s blog detailing his journey as a male kindergarten teacher: Look at My Happy Rainbow


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