I was privileged today to be able to spend part of a morning in one of the classes at the school that my 5 year old daughter attends. I call it a privilege, because it opened my eyes as to the wonderful people who are called to teach, the wonderful lessons they give and also the hard work our little ones do at school.
Parents drop children off at school, pick them up after school and then expect our child to be a little bit brighter than earlier the morning. We want to know what number did they learn today and what letter did they learn to write. We ask with who did you play today and what did you draw.
It does not occur to us the way the number and the concept were explained to our child in such a way that she is not bored and can understand it. We do not consider the social skills that they practiced during the course of the morning, like responsibility, sharing and respect. Our children are taught that there are certain rules that we have to listen to and that actions have consequences.
Teachers do not walk into the room in the morning and decide today I will just read a story and then the kids will draw something. It takes immense preparation to have a lesson plan that incorporates the concepts that the children need to learn in a visual, auditory and experiential manner. Our children are not expected to sit still for the whole day absorbing information, they get time for free play and interaction with children from other classes. They are exposed to different authority figures – monkeynastics, kindermusic and computer teachers enrich their lives while they are learning important skills. Above all these children are having fun learning!
Our teachers walk into a class of 22 children in the morning – some who had a good nights rest, some irritable from a lack of sleep, some not ready for mommy to go to work and some that are still hyperactive from last nights pudding. They approach our children with respect and love and do not get irritated (or hide it extremely well) when your child interrupts her for the 99th time. I experienced teachers who enjoy teaching and seeing the light bulb flash for the first time. They are involved in our children’s lives and show keen interest in every new discovery and story that gets told.
As a parent, do stop and consider how easily we get upset with our children in the house when they interrupt, fight or do not listen to us. This happens at school as well, but with many more children to handle at once.
I think teachers are special people filled with love and passion, that humble themselves everyday to teach little people who will be the leaders of tomorrow.