Last week, upon picking Sweetie up from pre-school, I noticed (for the second or third time) a handsome young man - maybe in his mid-to-late 20's - sitting at one of the play tables, interacting with the kids.
Before, I had assumed he was a father to one of the kids, simply allowing his little one to enjoy a bit more playtime before going home. He seemed a friendly, young-dad-ish-looking man who would allow his child this generous extra time, after all.
But before, I saw him in the 3 year old room. Now, here he was in the 4-5 year old play area. And when I picked up Sweetie that day - she was playing by herself in the Home Living Area not far from where this man sat with other kids - I saw him glance over at me as I caught Sweetie's attention. He smiled to himself as she and I greeted each other.
Of course, I had to interrogate Sweetie on our drive home about who this person was.
Who was that man sitting next to H______?
I don't know.
Is he one of the kids' Daddy?
No. He's not a Dad.
Is he a new teacher? He wasn't wearing the same kind of shirt your other teachers wear.
No, he's not a teacher.
What's his name?
I don't know.
Well, have you seen him before, or was he just there today?
No, he's been there before. Today he played soccer with me outside!
But you don't know his name?
I don't remember.
Is it Mr. somebody? With a boy's first name? (All the pre-school teachers go by Miss Whatever-there-first-name-is).
Oh. I bet he's somebody learning to be a teacher.
Yes! He's learning to be a teacher.
Then later, at home, I continued the conversation, trying to get his name out of her. Remarkably it only took me 5 or 6 guesses before I got his correct first name (which I learned, after picking Sweetie up the next day, was incorrect. She had told me the name for the school's fix-it guy - Mr. D_____ But this student teacher's name was, in fact, Mr. K______. However, this is all from Sweetie, so I suppose I'm still just as clueless as ever, really).
So what's up with me? What's my deal that I had to figure out who this guy is? And why do I feel like the pre-school director(s) should have informed the parents that a student teacher would be observing/helping out in the classes?
If it was some random woman sitting among the kids, I know for certain that I would have, A) either not even noticed her at all, or, B) just assumed without question that she was a new teacher or a student teacher. No big whoop. And if it was a female student teacher, I know I wouldn't have cared in the least if I was informed of her presence ahead of time or not.
Hmmmm..... the school is not at fault here. I'm just not very impressed with myself regarding my first impressions of Mystery Guy right now.
Sweetie's pre-school happens to only have female teachers. Of course they don't discourage, forbid, or prejudge against males applying/working there as teachers. It just so happens that none presently do.
And this guy? Like I said - he looks like a very nice, young Dad-ish type of guy. A perfectly lovely human being. Physically speaking, he's a tall, strong guy, mid 20's ish (possibly younger, I now suppose, if he is a typically aged college student), with wavy, brown, shoulder length hair that he pulls back in a short ponytail. He's actually very cute.
I think I'd feel even more strange about him if he was a geeky, younger looking kid. I mean, how in the world could such a person relate to - or be interested in teaching - my young daughter?
But I don't want to feel any way about this guy! I don't want it to matter to me that a male is doing student teaching at Sweetie's pre-school. I've had male teachers before (albeit, not until the older elementary school grades). Anyone who has a passion for teaching is fine by me! The more great teachers we have in the world, the better! Male or female! Yahoo!
This guy is nice! He played soccer with Sweetie! He's harmless! I mean, he's just as initially harmless as any person is - male or female. But why did I even have to qualify that?! What is wrong with me?!
Sweetie doesn't care. She loves many of the young men in our family - her older male cousins and my niece's boyfriend, to name a few. She's a Daddy's girl! Sweetie is an imaginative, active, silly girl who likes to do tomboy-ish things with The Guys. So a male teacher, really, is just perfect for her.
I just have to get over myself. Stop finding fault with the school for not alerting parents to the Mystery Male Invader Into The Lives Of Your Children. All is well. Sweetie is happy.
And that's all I have to say about that.