Hi all! This is Analin reporting from a Shanghai classroom. I’ve been spending a lot of time in these.
I honestly think that people should have the chance once in their lifetimes to switch positions with their significant others and try to do their jobs. I’m sure you’d learn a lot about yourself and probably complain and nag a little less.
A couple of weeks ago I had just that chance for four days.
I’ve always said if I ever taught, I’d like to teach something other than elementary. I thought it was a matter of age preference but I discovered I was wrong during those four days.
Elementary kids still want to impress their teachers – at least most of them – so they will try to work hard. I think that those who don’t might not be correctly motivated or need to work on their attention span. I actually had a lot of fun teaching those 4th graders. Their personalities are fresher. They are – I think – more fearless than other kids. They can laugh at themselves more easily. They try harder. They find genuine happiness in things we have simply forgotten about.
The topics taught at the elementary level are not super appealing to my over-analytic mind, although I did find the challenge of simplifying and re-analyzing a concept to find different ways for kids to understand it quite interesting.
Coming from a family of teachers, I’ve always understood the importance and value of dedicated teachers who truly have the kids’ best interest at heart – help them learn, guide them towards thriving, cultivating a mindset that gives them a global conscience, promoting service to others and working together as teams, regardless of our differences. Whether our children learn these values from an early age will dictate what our future looks like.
Would I teach elementary in the future? Maybe. Younger kids are not so bad. They’re quite fun, actually.
Are teachers the superheroes I thought they were? ABSOLUTELY. I mean, how do you reach the end of the day, having to teach and watch over X number of kids with a decent level of energy? By 1pm I was passing out every single day. It’s exhausting!
Substitute teaching has been a great learning experience. I look forward to getting better at it.
P. D – On a “do a thing a day that scares you” note: I substituted for one class period for a pre-k class yesterday! Everyone who knows me can tell you that I can be quite wary of toddlers. There was some crying in the classroom (thankfully I wasn’t responsible for any of it – it was just sad tears because mommy or daddy is leaving), but in general it was fine. Three-year-olds can be quite adorable. If you don’t think so, you obviously don’t know my nephew Ernie. He’s the cutest.