There are many things I enjoy about my job. But the best part is watching the students grow intellectually. They are so excited about everything new. And while there are those "Don't cry. I'm sure your friend didn't mean it." moments, the overall joy they bring to my life is something I can't explain in full detail. Teachers get it. Parents get it. But, others just do not fully understand. At least I never did until I became a teacher.
Some of the first words they learn to spell, besides mom and dad, are the names of their friends. They see these names day after day, and they become "sight words" to these children.
Painting is a guaranteed favorite activity at any given time. :)
And when you are too small to reach, you just climb on top of the table!
This tarantula was completed by a trio of best friends. Yes, I allowed a spider in my room - ONLY because it is not real and does not look life-like. And, it did help with the insect theme research we were doing.
We present "student of the week" posters. Watching them tell their friends about themselves is such an accomplishment for some of them. In the beginning of the year, I had several who were too shy to even answer questions out loud, let alone present. I actually had one that would cry when asked to speak in front of the class. By the end of the year, they can't wait to share!!
The little girl below came to me with about 5 words in English. She would cry about having to come to school. Now, she enjoys being the teacher! When I look at this confidence and excitement, my heart is filled with happiness. To see how much she now loves school, and to think I had a part in that, is such a gift.
Below, they are working hard on their research projects. Some are reading up on the research, some are decorating their tri-folds for display. They did an amazing job on this unit!
And we all love our class pet Fluffy!
Oh, this is the new craze in my room. They ALL want to have their own strings. And, because they are 5 and 6 years old, this led to a meltdown one morning. A boy called his friend "string girl" and she thought it was the end of the world and cried. Yep, that is what they get upset about at this age. Once he apologized, she said, "It's ok. I forgive you." And the day went on as normal. I wish adults could behave in this manner as well.
And of course, there are those days when the students do or say something that makes me laugh out loud. This example made my para and I chuckle. I wonder, does she really see ghosts??
And when parents help with the projects, you never know what you will get. On this boy's "things I don't like" section, there is a picture of Chinese wines. While I agree, Chinese wines are horrible, is it appropriate for him to have this on his poster? Eh, just laugh and go with it.
I never know what I will see or hear from day to day, and that is part of the excitement of teaching children. Of all the jobs I have had over the years, none have been as rewarding and fulfilling as teaching.