First off, what other job is there where you come back to your classroom after lunch break with a giant foam board hand painted decorated with mounds of hot glue, ribbon, fake birds and jewels?
In one of our teaching trainings today we had a man come and talk about the development of a child and what is happening in the brain. We all have brain cells called mirror neurons. These neurons are constantly taking in what is around them and creates who you are. With old science the theory was that however you were born thats what you got and everything is based on genetics. We are discovering more and more that everything is not just based on genetics. There is so much more that we can learn and grow from. Just depending on what we choose to surround ourselves with. He discussed with us how a child perceives themselves depends a lot on their environment. He stated that 90% of what we do reflects on what we believe about ourselves. These neurons that form and create our perception on life and who we are, are the most moldable at ages 6-8. You tell a child something at 7years old they will trust you and believe you. It really got me thinking about how wonderful of an opportunity it is to have a positive impact on the students I teach. The things I tell them and make them believe about themselves will set a foundation for their self-perception. When that positive energy and encouragement is sincerely given to a person it subconsciously effects their feelings about themselves. If 90% of what we do reflects on what we believe and feel about ourselves, how much good can be done if the 21 students I have leave my classroom feeling like they could do anything? I spend almost 40hours with the same students week after week. It is a good feeling to know that at the end of the day you have had an opportunity to do something good for someone else. As I go through the school day I am constantly thinking "what is best for this student?" A teacher has the power to create a classroom with structure and love which a lot of students lack back at home. And YOU get to be the person who creates that for them. As I drive home I realize I have hardly had any thoughts about myself or the problems I am dealing with. It is such a blessing!!
I realize I haven't experienced as much as most and I am naive in a lot of ways but it doesn't change the fact that, I love what I do. Anyone who gets to be in any sort of teaching position whether it be at church, a parent, counselor or anything of that sort is extremely blessed in my eyes! And I feel just that, very blessed! It is something that also needs to be taken seriously. As I said before the things I learn everyday from my students, other teachers and colleagues are lifetime lessons that I know will benefit my future and in return I hope I am giving back just as much!! There is so much happening with education right now. Some of it I agree with and some of it I am still trying to understand the benefits, but when it comes right down to it, it's all about the students. Of course it's important to be teaching them skills such as reading, math, problem solving, critical thinking and writing. I am a huge advocate of learning and stretching your brain to think out of the box. We can't forget to not get so swallowed up in these issues where we lose the love of what we do and who we are doing it for. If we let the love, encouragement, support, structure, creativity get swallowed up by worrying that's when we are in trouble. It's an amazing opportunity to be a teacher and I have loved my first year!! :)
Here are a few pictures of the fun things we have done lately…I wish I could show off how cute my students are and show their faces!! haha :)