What Kindergarten Cop Taught Me About Teaching

I usually “oversee” the morning Children’s ministry at my church.  When I have all my volunteer teachers lined up, then I can float and make sure everything is doing fine in all the classes and offer my assistance where needed.  This morning, one of my PreSchool teachers called in sick, so I filled in her spot and taught the entire PreSchool class hour, which I usually don’t do.  So to be quite honest, I was a little nervous and reluctant to dive into this job.  But that quickly changed once I found a particular tool….

Carpet Squares!

We usually use these to “warm up” the hallway to the kids rooms on Sunday mornings (we rent out The National theater on Sunday mornings).

But this morning, I grabbed them and brought them into the PreSchool room and told all 16 kids to find a carpet square and sit on it.  Then I remembered Arnold Shwarzeneggar saying “sit on a carpet square” in his famous Kindergarten Cop flick.  He was on to something.

The carpet square creates a boundary, a place in this world, a sense of meaning and purpose that the PreSchooler would otherwise not feel sitting on a cold, vast, open hardwood floor.

There was an immediate result of order, function, and tranquility in the room every time I reminded the kids to sit on their carpet squares before we moved on to the next thing.  They don’t stay on them the whole time.  They need to move around at that age.  But in transitions, or while working on something with coloring or while listening to the Bible Story, these squares proved to be money well spent.

Next time you teach PreSchoolers, allow me to recommend carpet squares 🙂

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Dr. Jesse Joyner travels nationwide as a speaker and entertainer. His primary role is that of a performing juggler spreading joy and the love of learning to family and kids events. H earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids - the perfect number for juggling children.