I’ve been taking a bunch of classes all over town, wondering what to do for the rest of my life. I love how community colleges give curious people like me a chance to explore various subjects. This blog results from a class taken at Grossmont Colllege. I initially began my journey here wishing to become an actor, then a writer and/or director, and now a teacher. It’s crazy how life turns out sometimes. Prior to September 2010, I hadn’t even considered becoming a teacher–at all.
Anyhow, this semester I enrolled in an Education 200, Teaching as a Profession, class geared towards prospective K-8th grade teachers. I’ve always adored cute kids and the innocence associated with youth, so I figured a class like this would allow me to experience what working with children would be like.
I spent a total of 50 hours as a volunteer inside kindergarten, 2nd, 5th, and 7th grade, classrooms. Originally, my idea was to teach 7th graders, but I must admit, the kindergarten kids won my heart. I spent a third of my time inside a kindergarten class, and the kids were so cute and adorable–absolute innocence. My heart was tender in their presence. All I was thinking was “awww”. Some of the kids caught my attention more than others because of their cuteness factor: one was really chubby and clumsy, another had a adorable face with big cheeks, and another was really sweet and fun to be around.
At lunchtime, I got in line with the other kids for lunch. I had forgotten how the whole process works, but a nice kid happily helped me out. Memories came back: the carton of milk, the star nuggets, the stern cashier–yup, even she was still there. Outside, I sat on a lone table, merrily eating and observing the others.
Now for a quick story that tickles my heart. One day during lunchtime, I was late in getting out and had to eat in a rush. I didn’t have time for my banana so I decided to save it for a snack later. The lunch bell rang and I sped back to the classroom, passing groups of kindergartners and first graders along the way, to drop off the banana and use the restroom. When I walked out, there were a bunch of kids scattered in the classroom, eyeing the banana on top of my bookbag. I walked back outside and, apparently, a girl had lost her banana and thought she had misplaced it inside the room, on top of my bookbag! The incident was major DRAMA! I’d never seen a kid so enthusiastic about fruit. I put two and two together and reasoned that the little kids had seen a young adult–me–with a banana and suddenly thought it was cool and acceptable to eat fruit.
I quickly went back, grabbed the banana and ran back outside to give it to the girl, who was with six of her friends. They all looked at me in awe, and I felt like such a hero. Kids say and do the cutest things!
Anyways, I want to thank the students and staff at Jamacha Elementary School and Oak Valley Middle School for all the memories. When all was said and done, I came away from this experience realizing that becoming an educator is definitely in my future. More to come in the next few weeks.
Oh and the drawings are a present I received on the last day from a few of the girls. Hearts and sunshine, what more could a guy ask for.