“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
Due to my family many travels throughout my childhood, I was constantly moving from one school to another. Always being “the new kid” I often felt lost in the crowd and had difficulty bonding with others. As a result I became somewhat introverted. Although school was a nice experience for me, I seldom took advantage of opportunities to excel. A few special teachers recognized my abilities and found creative ways to draw me out of my shell, meeting some of my emotional needs in the process. They demonstrated excitement, passion and caring natures, and as a result, I felt compelled to emulate those characteristics and qualities in my own career.
Why Elementary? Because young children are unique and hilarious!.. they are so excited about the world, they can have fun or make a game out of almost anything. They have a natural love of learning. I feel strongly that grade 1 is a social year and that also makes them unique! The most important things they will learn are social skills that will prepare them to achieve in academics. As a teacher, I think elementary is different because of the wide range of ability we see every year. It is very common for me to have at least one child that knows very few letters and another who reads at the third-grade level.
Three years ago I decided to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood education because young children in particular are so optimistic in their approach to learning. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to specifically study early childhood development and concepts. Finally, it is a very demanding job and on most days it does not seem like even meeting the bare minimum is possible. Teachers are asked to move mountains and expected to do so without a lot of support or materials. If I need supplies, materials, or books for the classroom, I will need to provide it and probably pay for it myself. If I want to learn about a trend in education or become a better teacher in a certain area, I need to buy the book, sign up for the class, seek out experts, and pay for it all out of pocket. Have I mentioned that it’s a hard job? Although it’s challenging, seeing the progress that the kids make every year is priceless.