Early Morning Dad

Bright and early, Dad and his son arrive at school

to play in my classroom before classes begin.

No morning rush.

Putting a puzzle together for a short while

is far more important.

I long to go back in time and do the same with my children.

Today he was tired.

He flopped down on the couch with a loud “Gloria!”

Everybody smiled.  Gloria did, too.

His son laughed, the kind of laugh that said, “You’re the best Dad.”

Here’s to all the dads out there who bring their children to school.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in behavior, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Gloria, Inspiration, joy, Kindness, Love, preschool, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Early Morning Dad

  1. beetleypete says:

    What a great Dad! I can’t imagine my Dad ever taking me to school, let alone coming inside into the classroom with me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      He is, Pete. As a mother, I never took those five or ten minutes to hang out and play with my children when I brought them to school. My husband rarely took them to school. My Dad used to say, “You can’t saw sawdust”, and he was right. I can’t dwell on what I did not do, but I sure can tell the world the great things others do – like this Dad.

  2. sjhigbee says:

    Oh, bless… what a special place your classroom is that parents feel relaxed enough to doze off there!

  3. Bless that dad. In one of my lives, I was a work at home consultant so I took the opportunity to care for our first-grade daughter full time. (Wife was working full time) This meant going to school, PTA meetings, Meetings with teachers and the principal. We walked to and from school every day and during the summer I was the activity arranger. The other mothers and I would meet for coffee after we dropped off the kids and work on class events. I would not trade that year for all the money in the world.

  4. Dan Antion says:

    These are the things they remember.

  5. quiall says:

    I was lucky enough to have a good dad.

  6. Really sweet. I can’t imagine my dad ever doing that, but it was different times – no car, work started early and ended late. Different times. Kids are so lucky that dads have more time nowadays.

    • Jennie says:

      It is a different today. While more dads share in the role of childcare, kids days are often over structured. The moments of play are wonderful. Glad you enjoyed this, Anneli.

  7. beth says:

    I love this so much!!!

  8. teacherturnedmommyblog says:

    what a great time for him to spend with his son. knowing how life is today with many families Dad probably gets home right before bedtime or even after. I have quite a few dads who drop off and/or pick up the kids at my preschool too.

    • Jennie says:

      Life is so busy for families. He probably gets the morning time and Mom gets the evening time. That spontaneous playtime together is a treasure. I see more dads sharing the childcare role, too.

  9. Three Cheers for Dad(s)! ❤

  10. petespringerauthor says:

    You’re creating more magic, Jennie. I don’t think that I’ve commented on this before, but it’s so important that teachers create a welcoming environment for their students’ parents. You always do that. Sending Gloria home and making them welcome to write an entry is just one of many examples. What a precious moment for a child to think he/she has the best dad. Who knows how many other dads might learn from others when they see how children respond?

    • Jennie says:

      There was another dad in the classroom at the time and he was watching. I think that was a good thing. It’s those little moments that matter most. We just need to be there in a presence that lets those moments come alive. Magic. I think I need to write a ‘Magic’ blog post… Thank you, Pete. Your words are so appreciated. 😍

  11. Lon says:

    My first reaction when seeing this was it’s getting dusty in the room. My next was….do I get royalties for this? All kidding aside, Katie (my wife) sacrifices a lot to allow memories like this happen. You couple that with the dynamic staff Groton Community has created for our family and you get this. As parents we always wonder in the back of our mind if we’re doing things right…..hopefully. Thanks for the memories!

    • Jennie says:

      You are a role model for dads, Lon. You even let me take a photo of you and Gloria! Yes, you are doing things right. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad to be part of making memories for you and your family.

  12. I guess that makes Gloria a ‘daddy’s girl’??? HA!
    Seriously sweet kudos to that dad – wish I coulda heard his son’s laughter!

  13. frenchc1955 says:

    Great post! Thank you, Jennie!

  14. Ritu says:

    This is so touching 🥰

  15. Aww so lovely…you pay just to precious relationship

  16. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, what a sweet post and it speaks volumes about the attitude of the school and its teachers to having parents in the classroom! Here in the U.K. they are, for the majority, left outside, handing over the children, some only four to enter themselves! It was heartbreaking when my son was younger, and many others felt the same. So much trauma for young and adult cared alike could have been avoided by the proactive early morning inclusion of all! Yeah, love seeing Gloria again! She should go on international tour! 😀😀

    • Jennie says:

      That is sad to have children handed over without a transition. Yes, all the trauma could be avoided by inclusion. I wonder if teachers in the UK feel that way. I will ask Ritu. And Gloria would probably be too shy on an international tour. 🙂

    • Ritu says:

      Yes, for the most part, children line up outside and a bell rings and the childcare taken in by the teacher. In our nursery (3-4) the parents drop children to the nursery door, and with our Reception classes (4-5) our classrooms open to the playground so they are dropped directly to us.
      It’s tough, but some parents wont leave, which is why bringing them inside on a daily base, is not allowed. But we try and have parent opportunities within the term, for our parents to come in and take part in activities and learning with the children .

      • Annika Perry says:

        Ritu, I must admit that it what I heard too … that some parents would not leave and it was making it tricky for the teachers. Also with classes of 30 and not particularly large classrooms it isn’t easy. Oh, you’re right about the opportunities during the term and it’s wonderful when the children can come up and show their work to the parents on a one-to-one basis. They are so proud!

      • Ritu says:

        They love those moments! And we do parent craft afternoon too, so they can work with the children together.
        Some parents are overly nosy, too, so its easier if there is a little barrier.

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you for answering this, Ritu. I could write a post on this constant dilemma with schools and parents. 🙂 We have the same issues. There are always the parents who won’t leave, and the need for children to have a transition. How do you personally feel about it?

      • Ritu says:

        It’s a tough one, Jennie. With the age of children we work with, as you say, some form of transition is necessary, but once A routine is set, it becomes unnecessary.
        If a child needs more, we work on an individual basis. 🙏🏽

      • Jennie says:

        It is tough. Working with families individually when necessary makes a big difference. Thanks, Ritu!

  17. remya says:

    How heartwarming!!!!

  18. YOu should get teacher of the year — have you ever?

  19. Dad’s are amazing. I hope they know how incredibly valuable they are and that parenting is the most important job of their lives. ❤

    • Jennie says:

      I have the privilege of watching them, and it is quite different than the moms who are often more rushed and have too much on their plates. I do hope they know how valuable they are. I tell them as often as I can. 😍

  20. Darlene says:

    What a great dad! It’s the sort of thing my son would do. Love the picture of him with Gloria. She does look like she’s smiling!

  21. What a heart-warming post!

  22. Here, here to Dad’s! This was a lovely, heartwarming post, Jennie! xx

  23. abbiosbiston says:

    My little boy is at nursery and his father and I take turns to drop him off depending on work. It is mostly me who drops him because it is on the way to the train station and on the days I work from home I go for a run after. I always take him inside and he often asks me to sit down with him while he has his breakfast. It’s quite funny because sometimes other children will come and join us even if they’ve had their breakfast already! Thank goodness my employer is not particularly bothered by time keeping.

  24. CarolCooks2 says:

    What a delightful story and how welcoming your classroom feels…Kudos to the dads who do the school runs xx,,

  25. willedare says:

    A lovely blog post which inspired many lovely comments, too! I particularly like that another dad was in the classroom and was able to watch how this dad was behaving. It’s more obvious when we are very young, but I remain a firm believer in the power of “Monkey See, Monkey Do” throughout the entire cycle of our lives. Thank you for giving us these inspiring glimpses of life and love and learning in your classroom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s