I am getting closer to the end of my studies here, but yet it feels like I am only just beginning. If I was asked last year in the early spring if I saw myself dedicating a whole year to studying education as a class, I would have thought that couldn’t be me. I had the same ambition to be a teacher, but never thought I could start the journey this early. Here I am however, in April, and have worked in sixth, seventh, eighth, and now fifth grade.
My first experience with the lower school was a bit unconventional. It was an assembly period with a visiting illustrator from books they have been reading for the past few weeks. I was not present for reading the books, but I believe I saw what I needed to see. The illustrator came and talked to the students about two important things. The importance of writing, and the importance of caring about what you write. I never thought about it this way. I knew the importance of writing in that it builds character and builds you as a person. I always thought that caring about what you wrote was a given.
Since our guest was an illustrator for children books, he knew that the best way young children learn is by visuals. I noticed how there was always a picture to help describe what is being said. Even if that visual is a word that is emphasized more than others. When I looked around the room and saw that he was speaking with no visuals, he made the speech as basic as possible and started just conversing with them. It was things that started with, “And so, what do you think…” “Knowing this, how do you react…” “With this knowledge, how can you…” These kinds of engaging dialogue were key components in making sure younger students can understand what is being said.
I sat in this assembly wondering if I would have a change of mind in the age group I preferred in teaching. I still very much believe middle school is the path I want to choose, but maybe lower school students can warm up to me. I looked around at everyone as they were mostly enthralled in the lecture. One thing for certain is they are a lot easier to handle than middle school. They don’t have the fresh teenager attitude where they think they are getting a grasp on the world. That’s what I do like about middle school, they have more personality to them. Even though I said I was adamant about being a middle school teacher, I may like to broaden my horizon a little more.
Before this experience, I was told that the class I would be in is fifth grade and that I would be seeing reading, writing, and spelling classes. This is exactly what I am looking for, so I’ll be excited to see what will be thrown at me when I’m finally in the class room.