Many of you already know that I am an early childhood education major. As a part of my requirement to graduate, I must complete a semester of student teaching. Prior to student teaching, I must complete a field experience. My field experience requires me to teach multiple lesson plans and observe at a school once a week.
My field experience thus far has been nothing short of incredible. I am placed in a Title I school in West Ashley, which I have come to love.
I have learned so many things in my short time being at school, but one thing has really stood out. It is that teaching is absolutely priceless
I am teaching a class of twenty-one kindergarten students. Each student comes from a different background, and I have no idea what family life is like at home for these children. So, it is my job as a teacher to build these students up and make them feel successful.
Last week, I had a student ask me to help him with vowel sounds, and what the difference was between a short vowel and a long vowel. At that moment, he looked defeated because he did not know how to complete the activity. I looked at this student and told him that he most certainly could do the activity, he just needed to try a little harder. After a few seconds of watching this student struggle, the light bulb went off for him.
This student looked at me and said, "Ms. Parker, I understand. I can do it!" I cannot even begin to explain the facial expression on this student's face when he finally understood what the difference was between a short vowel and a long vowel.
After the student completed this activity, I took it upon myself to tell him how proud I was of him. That student, a six-year-old, thanked me and his face lit up. I could not stop thinking about this interaction I had with this student.
Many times teachers are belittled for their jobs. People say we do not get paid enough and teaching is for people who cannot find a suitable profession. Teaching is not about the money, it is about the sacrifices we make for our students. Teachers not only spend part of the day at school but when we go home, the job does not stop. We go home to make lesson plans, grade papers, study student data, and make changes to best meet the needs of students in our classroom.
Teachers have many more jobs than just a teacher. We are mentors, advocates, supporters, cheerleaders, instructors, nurses, leaders, scholars and so many more. Even though the salary teachers may make is very little, the job itself is priceless.