I’ve been in school for about fourteen years now, so that makes about fourteen spring breaks in my life, and this past week was by far the best. Let me back up a little. First of all, since I live in Illinois, it doesn’t always feel like spring during spring break. My family has never been one to take a week long beach vacation during that time because both my parents worked, and preferred not to use their time off for something like that. Sure there were a few day trips, and some sleepovers were had, but I pretty much always just stayed around the house during spring break. In grade school it felt a little pathetic, and I would get bored, but it’s different in college. Spring break is at that point in the semester where I start to miss home, my own room, and my cozy bed, and I just need a break from school, so I’m perfectly happy lounging around my house for a week. However, this past week did not involve a lot of lounging around. It was really nice being at home, and even though I was extremely busy, I enjoyed every minute of it.
As part of the education program at my school, I am required to do a practicum in my hometown for a week. I chose to do it over my spring break because, as I said before, I’m usually not very busy. So, a couple weeks before my break I contacted my old third grade teacher, who is still at the elementary school I went to. I had her about ten years ago, so I wasn’t sure she would remember me if she read my name in an email, but sure enough, she did. She was very excited to hear from me and welcome me into her classroom for the week to aide and observe.
My third grade teacher had switched to second grade, and since I’ve always wanted to teach fourth or fifth grade, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it, but I really enjoyed it. I mean my week was AWESOME. She introduced me to the class on the first day as one of her former students, and they eagerly asked me questions about what teachers I had when I was that age. I did some observing during a math lesson, and then she had me lead a reading group. I was surprised at how quickly the students warmed up to me. I was sitting at this long table in the back of the room, and after working with the reading group, a student came over to me and asked to read me a story that he had written. This led to another student reading me her story, and soon enough there was a flock of second graders standing around the table waiting for a turn.
Next thing I knew, a student was handing me a picture he had drawn, and another one was asking me to come out for recess with them. I’m happy to say that this is what the rest of the week looked like. I got asked to go out for recess every day (sadly I had to decline), students would come over and sit with me at the table while they did their work, and come and show me something once they had completed it. They were sad to hear that I was only there for a week, and on the last day asked me to stay longer. I was just as sad to be leaving them, and wanted to stay so badly, but spring break was over.
Like I said before, it was a busy and quite exhausting week, but I enjoyed every minute of it. If anything, this experience just confirmed why I want to be a teacher. I love working with kids, and helping them learn. I was excited to get up everyday and see my students. It’s so great getting to know each one of them, and even though I was only there for a week, I could probably tell you one thing that I learned about each individual student. It was truly the best spring break of my life, and it was because I spent it with some truly amazing second graders. I love that class, and I know I’ll never forget them.