I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.
Nine years ago I sat in a room full of 4th graders. I was observing them & their teacher. I had not taught a lesson yet & at the time I wasn’t sure if I could. You see up until that point the only “teaching” I had done was help students with their homework with an after school tutoring program. I looked around at the 21 students in the room and then at their teacher and wondered, ‘Do I really have what it takes to be like her?’ A month later I found out that I did have what took to be like her. And yet self doubt kept me from feeling like my lesson was as successful as her review had said. Fast-forward to January 2010 and this time I had 23 2nd graders looking at me expectantly and waiting to learn about Mr. Yuk & poison prevention. When that lesson was over my field experience teacher pulled me aside and told me that I did a really nice job of keeping the students interested in the lesson and that I had the heart of a teacher. Every Wednesday when I showed up to the room the kids were excited to see me and they were always ready to learn. Over the course of the 8 weeks I was in that 2nd grade classroom I grew more confident in my teaching ability. But what truly shushed my self doubt was when the music teacher at that school, who was also my former piano teacher, told me that I reminded me of her. To be compared to her was an honor.
For you see it was because of her that I became an elementary education major in the first place. A bit of background: Senior year of high school I was set on attending Marshall University as a music education major. But due to my band director playing favorites he killed my passion & one evening while at her piano I broke down. I felt lost because I knew I didn’t want to be a music educator anymore. She asked me 2 simple questions. Do you still want to work with kids and do you want to teach? I answered yes to both and she suggested I give elementary education a try.
I’m now in my seventh year of teaching and I can’t see myself in any other profession. My kids mean the world to me. This job isn’t a job to me. It gives me joy and I love how much progress this year’s group has made since August. Not just in their academics but in their personalities, ideas, and views of the world. This group has a lot of heart & I truly hope they never lose the amount of empathy they have for others.