I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, I love the idea of a classroom full of students eager to learn and needing to be loved. I love new school supplies, sharpened pencils, and fancy red pens. I choose to walk down the office supply aisle in any store, just in case I may need another pack of pens to add to my (very) large collection. Being a teacher to me means love first, lessons second. Growing up, I had quite the imagination. I imagined I was a teacher, I didn’t let that just be a dream, I made it a makeshift reality.
At age 6, my bedroom was transformed into a classroom filled with big desks that didn’t quite fit my stuffed animal students. I had a large desk filled with stickers and way too much paper, teacher edition books that my kind teachers had given to me as I expressed my desire to be a teacher very often. I had grade books filled with grades, grades that were earned by papers that I wrote, did the work, made some students do well and some not so much, and graded. If my class was lucky, they came on field trips to my basement, or we did science experiments in my side yard.
I owe a big apology to my siblings, who I forced (sometimes it involved bribing), to come to my “classroom” and take tests, read books, and do projects. Overtime, they became my “class”. I was making worksheets and activities to meet what they were doing in real school at the time. They may have only come for the prize box they got to pick out of at the end of “class”, or when their sticker charts were full. Sometimes they got notes sent “home” for “bad” behavior, which doesn’t reallymake since considering the principal was also their mom. They let me live out my dream in my fake classroom, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
As I said before, I have ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher. But, it wasn’t until last year where I just knew that’s where I needed to be. I got the opportunity to intern in a first grade class for an hour each day. I got to work with the students, tie shoes, wipe noses, mediate arguments about whose crayon is whose, but most importantly I got to fall in love with a group of students who has forever changed my life. I was greeted with hugs every day at the door and everyday as I was leaving. I would walk through the hallways and hear “Ms. Hannah!” and turn around to find a group of students wanting a wave or a hug. I got to learn from their teacher what it means to teach beyond the lesson plan, as I saw her heart for her job.
I am so thankful for the teachers I have had and gotten to learn from over the years. It maybe in quite a few years, but I just cannot wait to have a classroom full of students who (are not stuffed animals) smiling and ready to learn and be loved.