I love the dynamics of preschool friendship. In order to foster friendship and a sense of community, I refer to my students as "friends". They all are friends, for the most part. Many of my twenty have been together since infancy. Several friends joined our school this year upon entering into the lottery Pre-K program. Those friends have been graciously welcomed into the fold. It's hard to tell who has been here forever and who is a relative "newcomer". All of my twenty play and interact well together. They stand up for each other, care and empathize with one another and save each other's spot.We don't have a lot of "he's not my friend" whining like I have seen on occasion in years past. Generally, a great group!
Okay, that being said, there is another dynamic to preschool friendship, "The Rat Fink". It always amazes me that the two friends who will defend each other to the death, will rat each other out in a heartbeat! Often, in a very helpful way: "Mrs. Ayn, I saw CULPRIT doing so-and-so, and I reminded him to make a good choice, but look!". And almost always, CULPRIT will turn around and say something like, "Well, RAT FINK was doing it and I was going to make a good choice, but he wasn't, so...." .
The most amazing thing is that after all this, the two friends, aka RATFINK and CULPRIT will go off hand in hand, neither mad or upset that the other has reported his actions! I always tell my assistant that we had better do a great job teaching, because our friends are certainly not cut out for a tough life of crime and deceit! (Thank GOD!!!)
I have been teaching early childhood for about 20 years. I love what I do---it's the best job in the world!!! Where else can you go to work each day and do art, play games, have snack and get hugs regularly AND get paid for it?! I love to share ideas with other teachers and see what they are doing in their classrooms. Teaching is the best profession---we love to share!