My kids were brilliant. I saw my kids because I got really attached to my students during my first year working there. Some of my friends asked if I now no longer wanted kids after having a class of 15 of them running around. My reply was, "Of course I still want kids!! Just not 15 of my own all in one go!!!!"
I learned a lot from them...probably just as much if not more than they learned from me.
It was amazing to see their little brains soak up so much knowledge that it boggled my mind. They were between three and five. Their reading levels and math skills were so good, it humbled me. There is so much taught now at such a young age...sometimes I worried about stressing them out but they were just so hungry to know more and more all the time that they blew me away with how much they could accomplish.
I taught them sarcasm and where to draw the line without taking it too far, of course. I taught them to to share and try to get along. I taught them how to put on a bandaid by themselves without touching the white gauzy part. I taught them how to read, write and do 'rithmatic. I taught them that they need to pull their pants up after using the toilet instead of shuffling back to playroom with their pants around their ankles...I figured that was a pretty important life lesson. I taught them that sometimes, they cannot have everything their way. I taught them how to sing, dance and be themselves...or at least tried to.
But their lessons were far better.
They taught me that
- if you don't yet know the words to describe your symptoms when sick, it is perfectly acceptable to cough in the teacher's face to answer her when she asks you to show her how you are sick.
- "grapes" are a perfectly acceptable choice when asked what they dream of being when they grow up.
- when I fall off my bike and show up at school the next day with scrapes that completely match one of my students who also fell off his bike, it is pretty cool because now you have something totally in common.
- the short vowel sound of "u" does not just begin words like "umbrella" and "up", it also begins words that I never taught them, like "underpants" and that after such a revelation, forget even attempting to teach because you and your kids are giggling like mad for about 10 minutes.
- in math, 2 stars plus 4 stars do not necessarily equal 6 stars. The correct answer is more accurately stated in a wide-eyed and serious manner as, "Soooooooo many!"
- no matter how determined you are to protect them from harm and that none of them will get even a tiny scratch while you are in charge of them, that you are completely naive in this hope and they will find a way to get a scratch, a bruise, cut their finger...they are kids. It is what they do and it is how they learn to be careful
- mostly, while you are a teacher and supposed to be objective, you can get so attached to your students that first year, that you almost don't even want to bother continuing as a teacher because saying goodbye at the end of the school year was so heartbreaking!
That is one of my best jobs ever. What were some of yours?