Last week I had the supreme pleasure of visiting my first class of third graders as they finished up their time at Parkwood Elementary. I couldn’t make it to graduation since we had an in-school field trip that day until 12:30, but I was absolutely thrilled to see them on their final day of elementary school.
It’s a funny thing to think back on my first year teaching; I was a completely different teacher. Talking with my kids, I found that they recall a lot more from third grade than I anticipated (which is AWESOME), and I proceeded to tell them that I had no idea what I was doing that year so I was glad that I didn’t ruin them.
I mean, I KNEW what I was doing, but I didn’t KNOW what I was doing…I was kind of going up to the board and writing things and drawing pictures hoping you would understand what I was trying to say!
They laughed with me about that and then proceeded to sing the bridge to my Constellations song that I taught them years ago (note to self: teaching through song is highly effective and fun).
The impact that we have on children is powerful. There were tears of joy that incurred that afternoon and there are few times that I’ve felt more fulfilled as a teacher — knowing that I had the opportunity to teach those kids to the best of my ability and to make a lasting impression on their lives.
If there’s one thing I love about being a classroom teacher, it’s building relationships with my kids (yes, my kids, not just my students) — it’s sharing stories with them and learning alongside them. That’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world.