From an early age, I always knew I wanted to be an educator. When I applied to college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and throughout college, I've been fortunate enough to be able to volunteer and work with kids. Through my involvement with kids, I've learned the most valuable lesson: they can teach me just as much as I'm teaching them.
Here are some valuable lessons these wonderful kids have taught me.
1. There's No Such Thing As Too Much Honesty
Kids really do say the darnedest things. What I've found is that this lack of a filter is a blessing (though many find it a curse). Children tell you exactly what is on their mind without sugar-coating it. While this becomes offensive as kids age, they've taught me how important honesty is. They've taught me that there is no purpose in lying or pretending something is alright when it's not. Honesty is the best policy, right?
2. Fight For What's Important To You
Working with kids, I've had to separate some heated debates. These arguments have ranged from "He hit me" to "He told me that Justin Timberlake isn't as good as Justin Bieber." Some of them were plausible, and some were extremely outrageous. To see the passion behind a child's eyes about fighting for a cause they find important is the most fulfilling feeling. Never back down if something is important to you.
3. It's OK To Dream Big
"What do you want to be when you get older?"
The good thing about dreaming big is that it allows you to fall short and still gain so much. Having goals gives people the push to reach heights they never would have thought they would have achieved. Dreaming big had led to humans achieving things that seem impossible, such as reaching the moon or creating the internet. Without dreams, we wouldn't have achieved some of the greatest feats known to man kind.
4. Start Everyday With A Fresh Mindset
Kids have the most interesting way of letting things go. One day two boys could be beating the bloody pulp out of each other on the playground, and the next, they're best friends. What can we learn from this? Let it go.
As adults, we hold far too many grudges.
If you have a fight with someone, great. Say what you need and let it go.
5. Express Yourself
Emotions are a natural part of being human. We are born to feel and express different types of emotions. It's OK to express yourself. I'm envious of children and their lack of a filter. If they want to wear pink socks with green shoes, you bet your paycheck that they're going to. Having a sense of happiness within is so much more fulfilling than conforming to society's standard.
To the kids that taught me all of these things, thank you.