February 4, 2013
Have you ever wanted to walk in the shoes of another person for the day? “Hey Suz, Walk in My Shoes” a blog series I started to follow different business owners and people of interest around for the day to learn what it’s REALLY like behind the scenes.
Today, I am not 40 years old, rather I'm 4 year's old. I am walking in the shoes of 4 year old Emily at the JCC of North and South Brunswick Nursery School and Day Camp. This adorable little girl allowed me to be her "friend" at school and work, play and hang out with her for the day. She is a student at this local preschool which has been around since 1975.
The director Phyllis Denenberg says "Our teachers are warm and nurturing. We treat the children like they are our own. We have longevity, some teachers have been here over 20+ years and they were also once students of this school."
To get Into character: At breakfast, I told my 8 year old twins that today I was walking in the shoes of an 4 year old. I then spilled some milk out of the corner of my mouth like a child would. The twins were laughing at "silly mommy".
My Day Begins
My day began with "Circle Time" at 9am. (The JCC also offers before school care at 7:30am). Emily and I sat next to each other on the floor. The teacher welcomed the children, which followed with a good morning song, and then the pledge of allegiance. Then a student was selected to be "Child of the Day." This child helped the teacher with the calendar and the weather. Next the teacher discussed the "topic of the day" which was learning the letter U/u. They listened to a song about the letter and talked about words that use the letter U/u. The teacher then talked about what the students would be doing that day so the kids were prepared for what was ahead.
Emily was funny, she kept checking in on me to ensure I knew what was going on. She also whispered "Don't tell anyone, but I have monsters in my backpack...but don't worry, they are friendly." Whew, thank goodness they are friendly. But remember I'm 4 today...so I giggled along with her.
Next, we played while a few children went into "stations" working on the letter U/u with both of the teachers. There is an average student to teacher ratio of 6/1 in most classes. Emily told me her favorite thing to do during "free time" was slide down the slide. She said "The slide is so much fun!" Since I'm 4, I had to try it too. All of the kids were laughing and saying "You are too big!" But Emily smiled her sweet smile and said "You're not too big, you can do it!" She is such a positive and happy child. So I followed Emily's lead and went down the slide. She said, "See I told you, you weren't too big."
Next, Emily and I went to the two stations to work with the teachers on the letter U/u. We cut out the letter, glued, decorated, and learned about what sounds make U/u. I will admit that I found coloring with Emily so much fun. She wanted us to color "rainbow" colors.
After coloring we headed off to Yoga. The children have different "specials" every day. Something I learned was my body does not move like a 4 year old. Emily could sit on her knees with ease. She bended, flexed while I ached! The only thing we both did easily was laugh.
CONSUMER TIP! - When looking at schools be sure to ask about Saftey Measures. This school has camera's in the building, buzzers to let you in, codes to punch in that are specific to each teacher and due to the heightened security they are going to be installing intercoms in each room and office.
Does the Shoe Fit?
Emily's shoes were like "tap shoes", fun, musical and playful. I had a wonderful time with her today. Four years old was easier than forty, that was for sure! No real worries, crafts, games, play time, snacks. Who wouldn't want to be a four year old for the day! This was a very fun "walk in the shoes". Thank you Emily for being a good friend today and showing me a glimpse into the world of a four year old.
Thank you JCC for allowing me to visit your school.