Opening My Eyes

Today I went to my placement to observe the third grade class and continue learning about the world of teaching. However, when I arrived my teacher informed me that her daughter had gotten sick the night before. She told me I could go with her substitute or she could talk with another teacher to have me observe a different class.

I was paired with one of her colleagues, a fourth grade teacher. I was terrified. Fourth grade is the very highest level that I will eventually be certified to teach. I didn’t know if I would be able to adjust. But, I put on a smile and was ready to meet the kids.

The bell rang and they flooded the room, chatting constantly and full of excitement. To be honest, they reminded me of college students. They had short attention spans, but were endlessly curious about everything around them. A few more outgoing students walked up to me looking at my name tag and asking who I was. They were so sweet and much more talkative than the third graders. I was in love with them immediately.

One little girl came up to me, shyly asking: “Do you like to read novels?”

I replied: “I love reading novels!”

She said, handing a book to me: “Well, I started to read this one but it had blood in it so I got freaked out. You can have it.”

I was so surprised and happy that she was so generous. I smiled and said sweetly, looking her in the eyes: “Thank you so much, but why don’t you hang onto it in case you want to read it later. That was very kind of you to be willing to share!”

She perked up and agreed that she would keep it for later. She quickly rushed away to stash the book into her bag.

Another little girl wanted to know who I was and I explained that as I college student I am training to become a teacher. She said later in the day, “I think you’ll be a great teacher!” That absolutely melted my heart. She was such a sweet, caring child and she thought I would be a satisfactory teacher. I almost cried. I know that this experience will be something I look back on twenty years from now and think about how scared I was to begin, but how much that little girl’s comment made me realize I am exactly where I need to be.

Who knows, maybe I’ll teach fourth grade rather than my preferred first or third. Those kids were amazing: curious, creative, silly, loving, and astoundingly competent. I hope I will one day affect their lives as positively as they have already done to mine.

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