My first experience with teaching was in Kindergarten at Starlight Park Elementary school. I was an early reader, so my teacher, Miss Berry, assigned me to work with some of the other students. I remember working with “Carrot-Top” (this is obviously not his real name, but that’s what he was called, and I don’t have any way of finding out his actual name).
In 3rd grade, I used to corral as many of my friends as possible for “school” during recess. Sometimes, I made my brother (in 1st grade) get his friends to come to my class. I don’t know if my brother loved me so much, or if I was that persuasive. lol My teacher, Mr. Morgan, harnessed that enthusiasm and made me a math tutor in my class. I remember making up an elaborate math game for the students I tutored. I don’t know that it helped them learn anything, but it was fun.
In 3rd and 4th grade, I wrote plays (the second was a sequel) that centered around a class where the teacher disappeared, and the students went crazy and danced around the room. Somewhere a video exists of this debacle, but, sadly, I do not have access to it! If I had any idea where it was, I’d post it for you! In 4th grade, my little troupe and I traveled around to all the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms performing.
Of course, as happens to most of us, my aspirations shifted over the next few years–in turn, I wanted to be an author (5th), then a lawyer (7th/8th), and then a physician (high school). I was a chemistry major working toward that last goal when I shifted gears half-way through my junior year at NAU and decided to major in English. With no specified career in mind, my thoughts turned, once again, to teaching. After learning that I would have to quit my job and PAY to teach full-time for a semester, I promptly signed up for the MA program and got paid to be a teaching assistant, instead.
And, from the first semester, I was hooked. Teaching is a part of who I am, and, though there are times I question my choices, I truly love what I do.