Confession: I've been a little worried lately that, maybe, I wasn't supposed to be a teacher?
I know all 7 of you readers are going "What?! Aren't you getting your Masters in Education right now? As in, learning to be an educator?"
And yes, you'd be correct. But I was a psych undergrad, I've never actually taught before or even taken education courses before this past fall, and I was a little freaked out. I was feeling overwhelmed because I have a practicum this semester (complete with activity planning that I actually will have to implement) and I have to student teach over the summer. I don't know anything about teaching! Am I doing what I am supposed to be? Was there a sign somewhere that I missed? Why don't I feel more sure about this? Why can't I be one of those people that knew in the 6th grade what they wanted to be when they grew up? (cough cough, BILL).
But then, my practicum started today. Every Monday, I am spending several hours in a local preschool class of 17 children, ages 3, 4, and 5. It was loud. It was chaotic. It was messy. It was amazing.
Ignoring the minor crisis where the class gerbil basically had a seizure, was rushed to the vet, and subsequently died, the day was great! I hadn't been in a classroom in about a year and a half, and I forgot how much I loved it. I let myself get consumed with thoughts of lesson planning, paperwork, IEPs, and responsibilities, and I forgot the joy I get out of being in a classroom! Kids are awesome. Today I played Squiggly Worms (I know yall remember this!), learned some sweet ballerina moves, built towers and houses, played "Hide the Baby Doll," sang songs, used a loop-and-loom, discussed our mutual love for Hannah Montana with some girls, and got more hugs and lovin' than I knew what to do with. One girl even gifted me with the "friendship picture" she made in group art time. These kids are so great! There's a sand table in the room, and one little girl and I would hide these plastic starfish in it, then dig them out with small paintbrushes and trowels. Yall, this four-year-old girl looked at me and said "We're being paleontologists!" What preschooler knows that word? She is precious. And so smart, obviously.
So yes. I got thrown back in the saddle this morning, and I am so glad. My doubts have vanished. I may not know all the logistics and technicalities of teaching, but I love working with kids and I know that will be enough in the long run (that, and all the information I'll learn as long as I pay attention in my classes!)