Thursday, February 24, 2011

Teacher, Teacher

It's crazy how in just 5 weeks a heart can create twenty four different soft spots for amazing individuals. Today was a day of goodbye's to twenty four of the most delightful children I have ever met. Let me explain....

This semester I began Level 2 of the Elementary Education program. Part of this level is participating in ten weeks of practicum experience. In English terms, that means I get to spend ten weeks in an elementary school classroom observing, assisting, and briefly teaching. This is broken up into two different blocks, each being about 5 weeks. Today was the last day of my first block.

The past month I have been spending time in Mrs. Pettit's 4th grade class at Greenville Elementary. I was able to meet these kids, help them with their school work, go on a few field trips, make some sweet rock crystals with them, correct never-ending amounts of worksheets, read out loud, tell stories, teach fractions, and be a friend and teacher. I learned so much about teaching from them and from Mrs. Pettit.

There is no doubt in my mind that I'm going into the best field in the world.

Now, this post may sound like a depressing story of a break up or death. It's not. Really. After Spring Break, the fun starts all over and I get to spend five weeks in a first grade classroom at Hillcrest Elementary. But somehow, this chatty group of 10 year olds at Greenville have captured my heart and I will sincerely miss them. I think what put the icing on the cake was the events of today:

Kids arrive to school.
I check each student's success book and reward teams with fuzzies for doing homework.
The kids break up into reading groups.
We all form a line at the door for a field trip.
The class walks to the Eccles Ice Center for an ice-skating extravaganza.
I help 4th graders lace up their skates.
The class hits the ice: some are naturals, some are not so much.

I ice-skate with the students. Who would have thought hanging out with 10 year olds could be so fun?

We walk back to the school.
The class goes to lunch and I spend my last lunch in the Teacher Work Room. Good times.
Recess is over and the class reads. I pass out my ice cream treats.
The kids learn about decimal numbers in math.
I take the kids out for recess and agree to play "Monkey in the Middle" with a group of girls. It was really fun.
The kids write and hand me the sweetest thank you notes in the world.
The class reviews their rock unit....big test tomorrow!
They write down homework in their success book, pack up, and walk out of the classroom.

Will I ever see these kids again? I don't know. I really hope so. I tell myself that I will never ever forget them, but there is a good chance that some will become a fuzzy memory 25 years from now when I've become a veteran teacher. What a delightful experience though. Children are truly amazing. And yes, they can be obnoxious, difficult, have behavioral problems, etc. But they are genuine, sweet, loving and very quick to accept. Here's a taste of the darling notes I received from my new best friends:

My note and picture from Jayden...treat and all :)

Makes my heart melt.

They are all such artists.

This dear has a lot of personality. Can you tell?

I cannot wait to continue in my program. Some days I wonder if I'm cut out to do everything that it takes to be a teacher. It is busy! But hey, I'm used to a busy life at this point, so why not keep going? Haha no but really, there are challenges, just as there would be with any job. But the rewards in this one are amazing. It's life changing to know that as a teacher, you are changing lives and truly making a difference. It's one of those jobs that you can come home from each night, even if you are frustrated, saying "I made an impact on someone's life today. I really do have an important part in society." Now if only the salary could reflect that importance as well. :)

You Are My Special Teacher

You are my special teacher
I just want you to know
I always had fun in your class
How the time has flown!

Thank you for helping me
To learn all that I know
I will always remember you
Even when I'm grown!

I'll miss you being my teacher
I know the reason why
I am feeling very sad
Because it's time to say goodbye
- Author Unknown

Thank you Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Carlston, Mrs. Copenhaver, Mrs. Rajagopal, Mr. Earl and Mrs. Wallentine for being the best teachers I could have ever hoped for and ultimately inspiring me to be doing what I'm doing today. I wouldn't be here without you all.

1 comment:

shlipea said...

You may forget them, but they will never forget you. :) I still occasionally see some of my kids from level 2, and most of them I don't remember. But they always know who I am. It's great. :)

Who's class will you be in at Hillcrest? I sub there in first grade often. Maybe I'll see you. :)