There were many more and I really did change my mind weekly (oddly I think Otter Trainer stuck the longest). Luckily when you are 7 it really isn’t that important that you have your future career decided. But, I am a very driven person so when I got into high school I knew that I needed to get serious about my future plans. I never wanted to be a teacher because I felt like every girl in my class wanted to be one. However, when I thought through my options, many of them seemed unrealistic. I have always loved to read and had great teachers so I settled on high school English teacher as my future career. I was decided but never felt sure of my choice, but in my mind I needed to have it all figured out before I left for college. Then I took a job at a child care center my senior year. I worked in a preschool room and absolutely fell in love with those kids. After my first week working in the day care, I knew I wanted to teach young children.
Fast forward to college and working another 2 years (for a combined 4 years) in a day care. My decision was only solidified. Day care work is a lot different then working in a classroom but it gives you experience with management and motivation of young children, not to mention lets you see if you can handle being with little tykes all day. When I got further into my college education I got to actually have the real classroom experience. I had the chance to get to know a classroom full of amazing little kids, write lesson plans, teach lesson plans and observe some amazing teachers in action. Again, year after year it is confirmed that I made the right career decision.
Nothing makes me happier than watching children learn new things, seeing them apply it, and seeing how proud they are of themselves. I am an incredibly emotional person (The Hubs always says “Oh, boy what will you be like when you are pregnant!”) and I many times find myself getting choked-up in the classroom because my heart cannot stand how much I love children. Just last week I had tears in my eyes when a little boy was reading his story about jelly beans to me and he explained that his story was make-believe, something we had just learned about. I find myself tearing up when students come up and grab my hand or give me a hug and don’t even get me started on what happens when they randomly say they love me.
I come home from the Kindergarten class I am working with this semester and am absolutely exhausted from redirecting kids, keeping them engaged and getting them from place to place. Sometimes I am frustrated with how they behaved that day and feel like I did a terrible job teaching them. Last week I came home and was talking about how rowdy they were that day and how they just “yaked, and yaked all day and were not listening.” I was telling The Hubs how terrible my day had been. I then went into about five stories about how cute my students were or how they had done something I loved. The Hubs simply said “so your day wasn’t really that bad after all, was it?” He was so right, I may have come home so tired I couldn’t see straight, with a major headache and frustrated with those kids but I also came home with countless adorable stories, amazing memories and an even deeper love for them all.
Each year I have had the pleasure of meeting a different class of amazing students and have fallen in with them in a matter of minutes. I know there will be days when I want to pull my hair out and lock them in the room alone, but at the same time I know they will surprise me, teach me more than I teach them, look absolutely adorable and melt my heart. I believe I have not only chosen the most rewarding profession out there, but the one that is absolutely meant for me.
It is amazing how God works and puts you right in the place you are meant to be. I am excited to be so much closer to having my own classroom full of amazing kids to teach and be taught by everyday.