A Teachable Moment
Then on Monday morning I decided to make some surprise visits to my niece and nephew’s classrooms. I experienced great disappointment and considerable pleasure all in one day. Being back on a school campus really woke something up in me. My niece is in kindergarten. By sheer coincidence she is attending the same school that I and all my siblings attended in elementary school and has the same kindergarten teacher I had 25 years ago. I watched her tell stories and teach a lesson in the same rapt I did when I was only 5 years old. A good teacher never fails to teach a student, even when they don’t mean to. She was teaching them social skills and introducing a new topic (colors), but she was teaching me how to teach. I was reminded of who I used to be in a classroom, of how much I loved getting my students engaged.
During my visit I gave the teacher my “call me if you need anything” speech that all parents say but few truly mean and the woman had a packet of work for me to help with before I could make it out the door. Talk about being on top of things! I immediately remembered the excitement behind creating a lesson or activity to present to your students and the elation of seeing it work. Man do I miss that gratification. It’s addictive, but better than any drug. The results are real, no hallucinations necessary. I walked out of my niece’s classroom with an inkling of a memory of why I got into this in the first place. I love children and I love teaching. I love reaching out to those who seem unreachable. I love the challenge of a new topic or a new idea being presented to a new group of learners. I love hearing students shout an answer confidently, I miss that. I even miss the hard stuff and the things that are difficult to do. I miss them because they mattered . They had a real affect on lives of others.