Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

time warp Tuesday, toddlers and therapy dogs!

(You know that Jenn started this and there are many of us who participate including Brightside Susan and smalltown me  and jen rants and raves and Tonya Lynn    and Fond of Snape  . Basically, a fun way to dig up and share some old photos!!!!)

In 1987 I was a preschool teacher at my nephew's school in Syracuse and I lived in half of a 2 bedroom apartment across the street. I am posting this (25 years ago!) because I think the contrast is interesting, with the pics of me and Penny the therapy dog at Longview Senior Living yesterday below.  Then, working with preschoolers.  Now, working with the elderly!  Pretty similar, actually, in some ways.... (Longview, btw, is the nicest senior living on earth and is directly connected to the eldercare program at Ithaca College (gerontology) and millions of college students are onsite PLUS they also have a preschool, so the building has every age in it, from 3 to 103!)

Anyway, I studied art in college as you may guess.  In Reagan's 80s that didn't get me some kind of great paying job, but my minor topic which included student teaching etc was early childhood education because a)  it was fun reading kids books b) kids get to play with crayons and clay, yaaaay! and c) my GF at the time was into it....
When I graduated with my useful arts degree (in the end = TRES USEFUL, right?) I took a job in Syracuse at my nephew's preschool.  It was daycare and brutally difficult and exhausting...and starting pay was minimum wage.  Like, 3.35 an hour.  My apartment across the street was 125 a month.  I was happy, but oh lord I was tired.  There was me, a second teacher, and 20 3 year olds, 8-5 every day.  I have never been so tired in my life, and every young person should have these crappy paying and hard working jobs when they are young so they understand how it is for other people.

The fun part of the job was the stories, drawing and singing.  The hard part was the usual, trying to keep the kids from killing each other or running out into traffic...across the hall from our preschool was a special ed program for young kids and they had ONE ON ONE teacher to kids, they had muscians coming in with guitars, the teachers only worked 9-2...and I was like, truly "I am gonna become a special ed teacher"...and I did...more on that next week.

This photo cracks me up.  Little Leah on the left was such a sourpuss, but she liked me.  Sitting next to me was Jonathan, another teacher's son, and he was always singing...and dancing to LL Cool J and such....I remember all these kids so well, and they would be nearly 30 now......

(below, my pal Kerry with Penny, and Penny my therapy dog at Longview)


Shortstuff said...

Spread the joy Gary, spread the joy. Great post.

Jen said...

I taught preschool for many years, and yes, it was exhausting! But I had a lot more energy and patience then. I often wish I would run into some of my old students. I bet the old people love seeing you and the dog!

Jen said...

I taught preschool for many years, and yes, it was exhausting! But I had a lot more energy and patience then. I often wish I would run into some of my old students. I bet the old people love seeing you and the dog!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

of course, now with the dog I am paid LESS than 3.35 an hour, as a volunteer ;)

Lori Buff said...

This is such a sweet post. I can't imagine how tired you must have been after spending the day with pre-school kids, but what a joy they can be at times.

Janet said...

What interesting paths you've taken in your life :-)

smalltownme said...

So cute!

Michèle Hastings said...

I was and early childhood educator for 19+ years! and yes, the hardest part of the job was keeping everyone safe... but I have lots of good memories and photos that I recently was looking at. I just might have to post some ;-)

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Ha ha! The birthday girl in the front does not look amused. :)

Julia said...

I worked PT at a daycare while I was in college - it was exhausting even just 4 hours a day! I am impressed (as usual)!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love that one of the reasons you did it was for a girl! You had some serious stamina to do that job.

Love it as usual!

Busy Bee Suz said...

You've come full circle...gotta love that.
I wonder what that little sourpuss girl is up to these days??? ;)

Denis said...

I see Penny is a hit with the residents.

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.