Friday, August 24, 2012

My Summer Job as a Herder of Half-Sized-Dirt-Coated-Humans

Today was my last day at preschool. My summer job was working as a teacher's aid at an English language focused preschool called Happy Day. My heart feels full of everything that happened. I made new friends, some big and some small. Most of them were only about four-years-old. I gained new skills and learned
a whole lot about negotiation and toddler diplomacy. Now I wish I could take a few days to digest it all, just as one does after a feast.

All summer I have been asking myself and God if teaching is something He would call me to someday. I go through lists in my mind of the things I loved and hated about teaching preschoolers to help me in the decision making.

Here's a sample list of WHAT I LOVED:

-I loved figuring out creative ways to get kids to do things. Sounds manipulative. It is! But not in a bad way. Sometimes it's just super hard to get a kid to do something as basic as wash his hands after he picked his nose and wiped it in the sandbox. So if he would refuse I would have to try a new approach. For instance one little guy named Eduard would not wash his hands. So I had to make it fun. I would take each of his hands in one mine and stretch his arms so that each one was in a separate sink (we had the tiny kind of toddler sink) and then I would wash them at the same time, just in two different sinks. It worked. He came to love hand washing.

-Another thing I loved was thinking up crafts. For instance mini tee pees out of coffee filters. Or a giant paper doll for whom we painted outfits using sticks and leaves as paint brushes. I loved preparing all the materials and explaining how to do it. I loved watching them enjoy working on the project.

-And finally I loved the kids. I loved slowly building up trust and friendship with those small humans. I loved having them look up to me as someone they could tell stuff to or run to with an owie or give gifts of rocks and pictures to. I loved that after I came back from a week of vacation they were excited to see me.

But the work was not easy.
Here's a sample list of THE HARDEST PARTS:

-You had to talk ALL THE TIME! You were constantly cajoling or reprimanding or praising or yelling or explaining or reading stories... After only half a day I would come home and not even want to say "hi" to my mom because I was so tired!

-Knowing how to corral a group of antsy, barely potty trained, sticky,
motor-skill-undeveloped individuals. It is hard to get a bunch of kids to listen and comply. Whew.

-Parents. Thankfully, because I was just an aid I didn't have to communicate a whole lot with the parents, but from observation I could tell that it is not easy. You have to somehow get across that you and the parent are on the same team. But at the same time you have to be humble and pliant, because the parent is the boss. I can tell that if I become a teacher this will be one of the most the most difficult parts of my job.

The Lord really blessed me this summer through this job. I am positive that He was guiding me the whole time. I still need prayer about my future as a potential teacher, but I trust Him that He has a plan for me.
Thank you, Heavenly Father!

Photos courtesy of Mr. Paul G. Till. Thanks, Dad!

1 comment:

  1. You make me smile Lucy. Keep blogging! And by the way, just sayin', I totally think you have what it takes to be a teacher.