Cheers to change!
I’m starting a new chapter in my career this year! I’m moving to a new school and to make sure I am fully embracing change…I’ve also decided to change grades! There are pros and cons to this change, as there are to anything. I will miss my coworkers and students at my former school, but am excited to meet new coworkers and students and also to reconnect with coworkers from the past. One of the huge pros to this move for me is the fact that I have already taught at this school! It was 6 years ago and I was only on a term then, but with several of the same staff members and the same administration I felt comfortable enough to take a risk and try something new (ish)! I have taught grade 5/6, then N/K, then 1/2, then 2, then 2/3 and now an ready to try out 3/4 to complete the elementary range!
I’ve spent lots of time reading, thinking, planning and setting up for the upcoming school year. I’m ready to get started and see what I can learn from this new experience!
As my mind is starting to shift from holiday mode to school mode I have decided to do some reflecting about my summer! I still haven’t jumped into the idea of blogging as I thought I would have by now. Always wondering what I should write about. Then it hit me! I had been spending a ton of time with my niece (1) and my nephew (3). They have inspired me to start writing. To jump in and try something new. So to my two favourite little people…thanks!
For a few weeks I became “Super Auntie”! My sister was just going back to work after baby turned a year old. Her and her husband needed a sitter for a few days. It was my pleasure to get to help out and spend some quality time with the kiddos. Especially since they live in Ontario so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. I don’t have kids of my own-and let me tell you that I slept well after watching the two of them all day!
Anyway, back to how this relates to me as a teacher.
My nephew has grown to be quite an independent 3 year old! He wants to do EVERYTHING by himself. He also asks a zillion questions a day! At first it was my instinct to help him so we could get things done quickly and move on with our day. Then I asked myself…What’s the rush?! Why did I want us to rush through the day? We had no real schedule other than eating and napping! If he wanted to figure things out on his own, then he should! I watched him work through puzzles, trying to apply what he had learned at swimming lessons while we played in the lake for hours and also accidentally dump ingredients onto the floor from a birthday cake we were making. When he wanted help…he asked for it. If he was getting frustrated but unwilling to ask for help (he is a strong willed little boy!) I’d remind him that I was there to help and could show him what I would do and he could try that if he wanted. On the occasions that he would accept help and learned something new he always said “thank you Auntie”. We had fun! He would tell his Mom and Dad things he learned when they got home. He asked questions, wanted to learn what new words meant, showed me things that he had learned (“Your watch is on your left arm, we must be turning left” *He was super interested in learning lefts and rights after dong a puzzle about opposites). It was great! When I told him that I wasn’t sure how to drive his Mom’s car because it was different than mine he encouraged me and told me I was doing a “very good job”. He was helping his sister (who wants to do everything he does)! He was taking risks and trying new things. I felt like a proud Auntie! But also like a proud teacher! This is what I try to do with my class, but sometimes it can be so easy to lose sight of. It feels like we sometimes rush through things because we have so much to do…when what is really happening is that we are missing out on so many learning opportunities. I know that he is 3 and that he is one kid but he also served as a reminder to let kids explore and learn from their surroundings and experiences, to try and fail and make changes to their work and see if they can succeed the next time, to teach each other, to ask questions and to learn to love learning.
Again…thanks to my little buddy for the reminder!