I have changed dramatically after starting my job as an elementary school teacher. I have learned and adapted to teaching, writing, and speaking differently depending on which age group of students I work with. Most of the changes in my processing are apparent when I teach younger students than the older ones. The older students still understand some of my jokes and catch on quickly when I explain.

When I'm working with students as young as five, I have to think before I write and speak so that I am completely clear in my instructions. Now, schools vary in their education of their students. Therefore, one of the biggest adjustments that I have had to make happens when I write numbers and letters in front of my students. This specifically involves the letter 'z' and the number '7'. I end up putting a line through those both characters, similar to a strikethrough. Although this form of writing the letter and number, respectively, my students are too young to understand that I am writing the same characters that they are familiar with.

I focus heavily on my penmanship. As clean, legible penmanship serves as a good model for the younger students, they also are much too young to quickly be able to piece together words by assuming. The lower grades, especially the kindergartners, are still sounding out most words. Therefore, I have to communicate as clearly as I can.

In general, I cannot write or speak before I think. This has provided to be one of the best skills that I have picked up from the few months that I have been teaching. I apply the same thought behind my logic when I am speaking to friends and family, as I do when I am working with my students. I can even see that I slow down my thinking, which I usually have trouble with. What I'm most excited to see is the effect that this skill will have on my writing.