Saturday, June 16, 2012

Changed For Good!

This past week I started working at a preschool/day care as a teacher of a 3-year-old class. 
It probably has been one of the most exhausting weeks of my life with the adjustment of working full-time AND with the adjustment of trying to manage 13 3-year-old's all day. 
They are quite energetic, but I already have a great love for them and love seeing how excited they get when we actually get to do a fun activity together. Like every job I've had, this will be another great learning experience for me, filled with a lot of personal growth moments. I have already had so many! 

As I was thinking about my job and thinking about my decision to take this position, I couldn't help but to think back to this wonderful group of kids:

Meet the most INCREDIBLE group of 11 and 12 year old's I have ever met. 
This was a class I had the opportunity to work with while I was an aide at Guerrero Elementary for six months. I just spent a half hour every day with this wonderful class, but they gladly accepted as part of their family-like class, and I was blessed with many wonderful experiences with them.

This class just had a special bond that was very family-like and unlike anything I've ever seen in a classroom before. It's hard to describe in words, but here is a tender example their teacher told me that exemplifies it:
Most of these students were together for fifth and sixth grade, as the teacher moved up with them. During the fifth grade year, one of the boys moved to the school. He was very shy and has slight Autism, so he was extremely nervous to be there. One day at recess, the teacher noticed him watching a big group of boys from the class play football together and she encouraged to go join, in which he declined. Well, about five minutes later, a boy who was playing football noticed this boy watching them play from the sidelines. He rushed over to him (without being asked), told him to join them, and put his arm around his shoulders as he walked him out to the field to join them. 

How sweet is that? That's how the class was. They just cared about each other and made sure everyone felt welcomed and included. That is a lot for kids of that age to do, but they truly just showed that they cared about each other and I could feel that everyday in that class! They taught me a lot, and as cheesy as it sounds, my life was impacted from my experiences with that class. 

That brings me to where I am now....a teacher of preschool. You may be wondering how deciding to work with young kids would be the result of working with these wonderful older kids. Well, as I was thinking about how unique these students are (trust me, most sixth grade students are pretty brutal and I would be scared to work with them), it hit me that the students didn't become that way overnight. They didn't just wake up one day and decide that this is how they should act. I'm sure it came from many experiences throughout their short lives. Reflecting on this sparked a desire in me to be a part in helping young kids be shaped into wonderful teens, like these. The young years of kids lives are so crucial for growth and development, and I hope to be an influence that helps shape these young kids lives for good!
I am truly grateful for this wonderful class that taught me: a) I really need to keep working with kids and b) kids are more incredible than we often give them credit for! I am glad to know I am where I need to be at this time in my life! 

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