Thursday, March 14, 2013

You think that the dryer is bad...?!

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a toddler teacher more than hearing the words, "Where are so-and-so's socks?"  You may wonder why, but when socks go missing, it is our job to locate them.  If we don't before the day is over, we have parents showing up wanting to take their child home WITH the socks they came with. 
(Go figure...)

We spend quite a lot of time talking about darned socks in our classroom:
    -What did you do with your socks?
    -Did she have on pink socks today?
    -Were they ALL pink or just pink on the toes?
    -Where is  your other sock?
    -Please don't play with your socks.
    -Where did your socks go?
    -Who's one sock is that in the middle of the floor?
    -Are these your socks?
    -How did we end up with extra socks at the end of the day? 
    -Please put your socks in your cubby.
It seems never ending.

We've tried making the kids keep their shoes and socks on at all times. 
Yeah.  That worked really well...

We've tried repeating over and over to the kids for them to remember to put their shoes and socks in cubbies when they come off of feet. 
That generally works for the older kids only.  When they're in a good mood...

We've tried only allowing kids to take off shoes and socks upon arrival,  time out if we catch anyone with shoes and socks off, praise and/or treats for kids who find and return lost socks in the room...but still there seems to be lost socks every day!! 

It is so embarrassing at the end of the day when you have to tell a parent that we cannot find so-and-so's sock(s).  Honestly, we feel like terrible teachers for not being able to keep track of something as common as socks.  To any parent out there who has had to hear from their child's teacher that they cannot find their socks, trust me-we've looked!  High and low.  Possibly all day long.  More than likely all the teachers have looked.  We've also probably offered some kind of reward treat to any child who locates the missing sock(s).   We may try to offer you a pair from our  "emergency sock" stash to try to appease you that we simply cannot locate that special pair of socks that said "Saturday" on them.   And know for certain that we have asked both ourselves and each other numerous times, "Honestly. Why can't so-and-so just keep their socks on their feet?!!"

The Sock Hunts in our Toddler Room are legendary.  Sometimes they last for days.  Most socks are found, but sadly, we have lost some good socks through the years.  When the calls goes out that there is a sock missing, we all know to start at the cubbies.  Usually a child will have good intentions of putting their socks in their own cubby, but they simply miss.  So the cubbies on either side of so-and-so's cubby is checked.  Then the cubby search expands.  Once we've looked through each cubby, including all bags, totes, shoes and bedding we move into the room.  We check out the dress up area next-it is really easy to scoop up a sock with a fairy costume or a construction worker vest.  Just last week I found a pair of socks put on the feet of one of the doll babies.  If no sock shows up, we'll enlist the help of other teachers or  the kids themselves.  The climbing rainbow is another spot that socks get stuck in.  We will run our hands down in the creases of the steps.  If we only pull out puzzle pieces and the missing wheel from the 'Mater truck, then the search continues.  If a quick glance through all the shelves doesn't produce the missing sock, then we have to empty out all the toys.  No luck?  We then have to open up all the doors of cars, doors in the play kitchen, lift lids, open drawers and cabinets in all the play stuff.  We have been surprised many times at how kids and will stuff socks into the smallest holes. 

I am sharing this story because today, after sending a little so-and-so home without her socks for the second day in a row and after having our second attempt to find her last pink sock, on a massive Sock Hunt, Miss Gail opened up the doors of the doll house sink and 'viola!  There, all tucked away was that blasted sock!

In a toddler room that is full of crazy fun, we teachers will take our victories, however small, wherever we can!!

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