photographing, cooking, laughing through life

My week seeing how the other half lives…

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  From a very young age I remember helping my mom “grade” papers…sitting with my stack of papers (also known as coloring books) while my mom graded her stacks of Latin and English assignments. I’d kind of thought I would be an elementary teacher, but when I started high school, I fell in love with journalism and found my niche there.

However, each summer, I get to experience what it’s like being an elementary teacher – by helping with Vacation Bible School.  The VBS at our church is for kids ages 3-12 year olds.  This year, we had an average of 74 kids per day and I got to work with each of them as the music director.

I love singing and I enjoyed teaching the kids some of my old favorites and some of the new songs that went along with the “SonTreasure Island” theme. Let me tell you that I am really glad our days were only 2 1/2 hours! Those kids (and singing Father Abraham 4 times a day) wore me out!

Here are 10 things I learned from my week in elementary mode:

10. Elementary kids give LOTS more hugs than high school kids…especially 3 and 4 year olds.

9. Distraction is key to success…especially with criers. (a blow up Nemo fish is an excellent way to stop the tears from flowing)

8. Actions are fun…and kids LOVE learning songs with lots of actions.

7. Attention spans are SHORT…even shorter than the average freshman’s attention span. Keeping them active while learning is important.

6. Turning of my sarcasm mode is HARD…and they don’t get sarcasm 🙂

5. I really don’t mind making a fool of myself if it means the kids are learning and having fun

4. Nothing is sweeter than a 4 year old reaching for your hand and putting their complete trust in you.

3. While high school students are not big sharers (except when they over-share on social media), elementary kids love to share things about their lives – I learned one little boy’s favorite movie is “Twister” (on VHS not DVD…lol), I learned what color everyone’s invisible watches were, I learned what each boo boo on each kid came from…and so much more.

2. Students are students no matter what age – they are ready to learn, so you better be ready to teach.

1. I’m definitely in the right profession, whether they are 3 or 18, I LOVE teaching.

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