Saturday, April 23, 2011
T is for
After I graduated, I was told I had a month (maybe more) to find a job or else I'd have to move back home (the horror!!!!!!!!!). I wasn't really sure how I could go about finding a teaching job. At the time I was living in a house with three other gals, also students at SFSU. One of them we referred to as 'Mom' because she was the married one out of the three of us. I asked her if it would be lame to just start calling places up from the phone book and she said not at all. So I gave it a go and that's how I landed some of first interviews. Since I had some experience in a head start facility, I figured I would give preschool a try. I think I went on two interviews and it was the second one I knew I wanted. I ended up starting in March of 1998 (having graduated in January of that same year). It wasn't much but it was better than nothing. I absolutely loved teaching preschool. I worked with the 3 and a half year olds at the time. The teacher I had taken over for had gone on maternity leave but she would be returning at the start of the following school year. Fortunately for me, the school ended up losing another teacher to maternity leave so I officially had a position working with the 4 year olds for the next school year.
Preschool was SO much fun. It was way more fun that Kindergarten has been that's for sure. I spent two years at that particular preschool. I think around the start of my second year, that was when I decided if I could handle preschool, I could definitely tackle elementary school so I began making the preparations to apply to grad school and take all the required exams. I applied to one and only one school. Friends asked what would I do if I didn't get in and my response was that I'd just apply again. At the time, I was also entertaining the idea of doing school psychology. The only good program was in San Diego and I wasn't quite ready to move 'that far' away just yet.
I was accepted to the one and only school I applied to and then began my teaching credential program (and Master's program) in 2000. It was a two year program. By the time 2002 came around, I was burnt out. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was teach!! I took about 6 months off and was rejuvenated again and was ready to get back into teaching. My first stop? Preschool. I knew the only way I could find my way back into it was to start from when I first fell in love. I did 6 months of preschool and during that time I decided I was going to pack up, move to LA, and find a teaching job there. And guess what? That's pretty much how it happened except I found a job before moving and packing everything up for LA. It was a different time then.
Teaching isn't something that just anyone can do. This I know. In my 'many' years of teaching, I have come across many different teachers. The ones I dislike encountering are the ones who are only in it for the money (what money??!). They do exist though. Unfortunately, the kids see right through them and that is where the lack of respect begins in a classroom setting.
I have always been a teacher who treats all students with respect. To me, it is the only way they are going to give it back to you. Parents respond to teachers who treat their children with respect. By treating the families we serve with respect, we are showing them that we care. Teaching is a caring profession whether people want to admit to it or not. You can't be heartless and be a successful teacher. It doesn't work that way. Teachers are not the only teachers in a child's life either. Sure we have degrees and have to attend professional development seminars, but parents are every child's first teacher. We just take over when the parents need a break!