I am many things: daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, writer, museum professional, archaeologist, and currently, preschool teacher. Archaeology is an amazing adventure. Writing is fulfilling and satisfying. Motherhood is my great love. But teaching has turned out to be all of these things and more. There is something unique and wonderful about every single little student who sits in my lap or puts their sticky fingers in my hair or holds my hand or asks me a million questions. There is something to love about each and every one of them. I never expected to teach preschool but God loves to surprise us and he certainly surprised me. It has been such a blessing to not only have a job I love going to everyday, but co-workers who are dedicated and tireless and loving, supportive and fun. We are all so lucky. I used to get lots of questions about my archaeology career, and I still do. I also hear lots of Indiana Jones references and the eternal question that drives archaeologists crazy: Do you dig up dinosaurs? (Just for the record, no. That’s a paleontologist). Anyway, my point—and I do have one—is that at first glance it might seem that the jobs of archaeologist and preschool teacher are so different that you would never expect someone who once did one to now be doing the other. In fact, there are quite a few similarities. And so, here they are: the twenty-two reasons why teaching preschool is like being an archaeologist!
1. You will get hot, sweaty and dirty.
2. You often find yourself using everyday objects for other purposes (medicine bottles for artifact storage, craft sticks for spoons . . .)
3. Digging in sand and/or dirt is all in a day’s work.
4. People think your job is fun, and only fun, all the time.
5. Not all bathroom breaks take place in an actual bathroom.
6. Crackers, fruit and water make the best snacks.
7. You have special clothes that make doing your job easier and more comfortable.
8. Tons of paperwork.
9. You don’t know where those stains came from.
10. Several times every day you find yourself wondering if you’re “getting too old for this.”
11. Hand washing is very, very important but never happens as often as it should.
12. When you finally get a break all you want to do is sit down and have a cold drink.
13. You have career-specific tee-shirts.
14. No matter how much you clean, there is always more dirt to sweep up.
15. You often find yourself crouching, kneeling or contorting in some strange position. Talk about “creative movement!”
16. You must have the proper permits.
17. You wonder how a small group of people could create so many artifacts.
18. At the end of the day you just want to take a shower.
19. You never know what you’re going to find.
20. You’re always trying to unlock the mysteries of a strange and alien civilization.
21. Every day is an adventure.
And finally . . .
22. You love your job!