College is filled with people taking school day by day. Unsure of where they will be in the years following graduation, students focus on getting great marks and making their money spent here, well spent. The day that I walked onto the campus, I knew I was going to be an elementary school teacher, and I knew that once I completed college and receive my degree I would find myself sitting in a classroom filled with small, smiling faces. Education professors talk daily about the importance of elementary school teachers and the love the students have for them. As each day of college goes by, new classroom decorating ideas, teaching techniques, and everything else teacher-related makes me more excited for the years to come. Being a teacher is one of the noblest and most rewarding professions, and I am so excited to be headed towards such an amazing career.
1. Teaching Students Positive Behaviors and Habits
Elementary aged students all come to school at different places both socially and academically. While some students in the second grade are reading Harry Potter novels and excelling in math, other second graders are struggling to understand spelling and rhyming patterns. As a teacher, it is important to continue to challenge all students as often as possible. Throughout elementary school, studying behaviors, learning styles, and behaving kindly are repeatedly drilled into their cute, little heads. These positive habits formed will continue to help the students as they progress to higher grades.
2. Inspiring Students
As a college student looking back at my own elementary education experiences, I remember specific teachers that helped me along the way. I remember my own third-grade teacher taking the time to check in with each student in my class every morning to make sure all of our questions and comments were heard before the school day even started. I remember how much it meant to me then, as a child, and I know how much it will mean to my future students. Teachers inspire children every day. I cannot wait to be able to leave a lasting impression on my students!
3. Providing a Safe Space
Teachers have the control in their classrooms to make sure each student is provided with everything that they need to feel comfortable to be true to themselves. Some students will have a harder home life, and just need a friend to talk to at recess. Some students will be given a name at birth and prefer a different name as they become more in touch with themselves, and as a teacher, it is your job to make sure you are providing support for the student. Giving the child a positive and happy environment allows the student to worry less about being uncomfortable with themselves and they can actually focus on succeeding in school.
4. The Excitement
There is nothing more exciting than when a student gets a good grade and has worked very hard to get it. There's something about the thought of putting stickers on a well done assignment that makes me smile. Decorating the classroom in the fall, creating student name tags and reading boxes, and meeting the students the first week of school are exciting things that happen in the earlier weeks of school. But, more exciting milestones happen daily with elementary aged students. An example would be, when a student works hard for days to understand a concept and s/he is just getting frustrated, and FINALLY they get it. That is exciting.
5. The Looks
The look on a student's face when they understand a concept for the first time. The look on a student's face when they read a paragraph aloud to the classroom without getting stuck on any words. The look on a student's face when s/he doesn't have any snacks in their backpack and you have snacks in your desk saved for times like that. Student's faces are easy to read, whether they are feeling happy, relieved, or thankful, a teacher can tell. It is so important to be mindful of that throughout the day. Some students need a teacher to notice that they are struggling, or to notice they are hungry, and you are that teacher. You are.