Hope everyone’s doing well today, as we are already half-way through the day! Today starts my online course that’ll wrap up June 6th. Four weeks of intense studying and then I will be free from school until August. That doesn’t mean I’lol be free from teaching!
Today’s part two discussion is a part of this month’s mini series: teaching and education. Last week was teacher appreciation week, and me and my after school teachers were treated to cake! 😀 This post, similar to part one, will go over my teaching history. If you haven’t checked out last week’s post, I wrote out a lengthy timeline about my education history. Let’s dive into the small part about my teaching history!
VBS & Band Camps
2000 – 2017
A majority of my teaching jobs started out as a child. I worked VBS camps often, and went to band camps just as frequently. Leadership roles I acquired during high school and parts of the early college years lead me to learning how to teach people my age how to march, play instruments, or how to lead other organizations. When I worked with kids younger than me. I always found ways to become relatable with children. That was with a job I had in 2017, where I got to act and educate in a science museum. I soon outgrew that job and the coworkers with it. My mental health was terrible in 2017 and it began to reflect in my interactions with children.
I also learned one fall semester in 2013 that I was not meant for teaching marching band. My high school band directors got away with a strict disciplinarian style that worked in Texas, but not in Oklahoma. I had been teaching trombone lessons and helping out the brass section, when I made a dumb comment that was meant for an older audience. After practice, I discussed with the director at the time how that slipped and the type of program I came from. That discussion helped me discover some not so fun traits I inherited from my high school band directors and my dad that does not work well in today’s classroom. I’m still embarrassed about what I said and it haunts me occasionally. The fact that I said one cuss word is the part that helped me realize I’m best not working out in the heat, but inside a controlled classroom.
And maybe older kids aren’t my thing.
During the summer of 2016, I got a first glimpse of what it was like working for a childcare program. I was living in my hometown at the time, and the local church had a VBS camp and daycare during Sunday and Wednesday night services. I worked at least 15 hours per week, and learned a lot about classroom management with kids form 4 years old to 6th grade. I still don’t work well with kids younger than 5, since communication is a large part on how I work and improve games on the fly.
In the fall of 2016, I was set to work with a church internship for ten months. I was originally planning on working with foster children, but those plans fell a part and with the lack of communication and understanding, I moved from Dallas to OKC that fall. During this stretch of not teaching from September 2016 to March 2017, I found myself not enjoying my job in the food industry. Even when in 2018, when I made a return to the food industry, I was still finding ways to teach customers and coworkers but left work not filling 100% happy.
I took a month off from working from September 2018 to Halloween (for my mental health). I needed a job again, but I couldn’t stand working in food or retail, or even offices. The only place I knew I learned the most and continued to make improvements was in a classroom. I applied as an after school teacher and not even a day after submitting my resume, I was called in for an interview. From October to December, I was an assistant teacher with 20 pre-K children under a kaleidoscope education after school church daycare.
For those of you unfamiliar with kaleidoscope education, kaleidoscope is a hands on learning that is especially useful for children with emotional, physical, or mental difficulties. During those first three months, I learned a lot from certified teachers how best to handle children who are throwing fits, sensory children, and more. I found that my disciplinarian side was easier manageable with pre-k children compared to high school teens. In December, I went through two mini promotions, and I believe that God/the Universe was guiding me to where I needed to be. I’ve been driving our daycare’s van to pick-up children since December (going on 6 months now) from their elementary schools and then I was moved from working with pre-k children to kindergarten!I sometimes miss the ease of life with pre-k children but I have had more fun working with these 18 kindergarten children. I started teaching after school with these kindergarten children in January and three weeks into the job, I was mini-promoted (no change in pay, which I’m not complaining about) to lead teacher.
The teachers who work with me, have helped me learn how to experiment and improve on various classroom techniques. And, we’ve found some methods that work and other’s that don’t. One of my favorite things to do with both pre-k and kindergarten kids, is teaching them how to read and write. As an English-Writing major, this is fundamental to what makes me happy; as well as how to read and perform music.
I mentioned that where I work is part of a church: I’ve written my history with churches and growing up active in one (thanks to my grandmother being a pastor herself), working in churches has always been a safe place for me. Part of our after school program this semester began to incorporate bible lessons and I’ve had fun helping lead those discussions. Once, I brought in a recycling craft and my kids loved it! ❤ Also, Pinterest is a lovely place to find lesson plans and such for churches and schools.
The local school district has nine school days left and then I’ll have a week break from work. I’ll be visiting family during Memorial Day in Texas and that week off will be wonderful. That week off will help me rest before the summer starts.
For the summer, the daycare transitions to a full day camp and in a week or two, I will be officially CPR/First Aid certified. I’ve been wanting this certification for at least three years now, and I”m just glad I’ll get to finally be certified. Since I won’t be in summer school, the goal is to work full-time during this camp season.
I’ll still be driving the vans to some of our trip locations but I’m still waiting to hear what my official schedule will be starting June 3rd.I mentioned mental health. Somehow, working with children does’t take as much of a toll on me as does food or retail. In food and retail, I have set rules and things I have to do. In a classroom, I still have those rules but can navigate and bargain and still be ahead of the original goal.
Thanks for reading today’s post! On Wednesday, I plan on writing a third part of this teaching series. I might post an extra photo on Friday, since I missed last Friday’s deadline. For those teachers who are wrapping up the school year, keep on pushing through!