Well, it happened again. I went out and tried my very hardest to not mess up children's thinking and ruin their lives forever...and I think I did a pretty good job!
For those of you who don't know, I was assigned to teach the sixth grade at Rosamond Elementary in Riverton. If any of you talked to me anytime, in the entire semester basically; you would know how intimidated and nervous I was to teach sixth grade. "How can I teach them? They are already smarter than me?" "Have you read over their curriculum? Pretty sure I have not even heard about it since I was in sixth grade." Those and a plethora of other discouraging statements could be found coming out of my mouth.
Turns out, sixth grade is the BEST thing ever. I could finally use sarcasm in my humor (turns out 2nd graders don't respond well to it... and I am not that funny without it. Shocker right?) and have my entire class laughing in a matter of seconds.
I have this issue/gift, that I am very quick to love and it comes very easily, with most everyone. I automatically love people. Blessing and a curse? You better believe it. I get instantly attached to people, especially my students and love them with everything I have, for the time I am with them...and then our time comes to an end. It was obviously the very worst for me when I so rudely got ripped away from all of my beautiful Ghanaian children; but it is not just then. It happened with my second graders, and again with my sixth graders. It is amazing to me how quickly I come to care, love and want to protect all of these children. I would give them everything I have to make sure that they have the life that they should and deserve. As teachers we are faced with so many different jobs, and most often it is hard to fulfill all of them, even though you want to so badly. Case worker, therapist, psychologist, referee (this one is sometimes a little dangerous!) are just a few of the many roles you are expected to succeed at. Is it hard? Yes. But so worth it when you see those children you love excited to be at school. Excited about learning. Those kids that trust you enough to tell you about everything about themselves and know you love them enough that they can come to you when something hard has happened in their lives.
It truly was such an amazing experience; and so far I only have talked about my students. My cooperating teacher this practicum experience was amazing! She has so many incredible qualities that I could only dream of developing when I am a teacher. She pushed me as a teacher, but not so far as to make me uncomfortable in the classroom. She allowed me to teach lessons of my choice and let me be myself in the classroom. We became instant friends and I learned so much from her. I am SO grateful that I had the teacher I did. If you are wondering where to send your students for sixth grade...and you don't mind the commute to Riverton... Mrs. Cowan's sixth grade class. She is the best! :)
On my last day, my kids and teacher threw me a little going away party. From day one they have all known about my obsession for BYU Sports and because it was basketball season...this was always our main topic of conversation. Somehow all of my background knowledge connections in lessons revolved around Jimmer, his vertical (when talking about measurement of course!) and many other BYU b-ball connections. My students loved it...and I obviously did as well! Because of this, this is what my going away cake looked like! They are adorable and I love them. I always feel a little sad that you can not see pictures of how adorable my students are, but it is all about privacy these days, and I really do not want an angry parent suing me! Just know they were cute.
Driving to and from Riverton everyday gives you a lot of time to talk and get to know the people you are driving with real well. I have been given the greatest opportunity the last 1.5 years to come in contact with some of the best girls I have ever met! We all became insta-friends and when a class is canceled or it is a long weekend, you can frequently hear us talking about how long it has been since we have seen each other...you could say we are all a little attached. AnnaMarie and Shelley were in my carpool and I just adore them. We had the best conversations and laughs and it was perfect to be able to talk to someone everyday who was going through very similar things to what you were. My roommates can only handle so much teacher talk.
|Aren't we cute?!|
Basically, I have been given the greatest opportunity by being able to be in the classroom teaching these amazing kids. I gave them a going away gift of a BYU Football shirt and CU lanyard, oh the perks of being president, with extra gear. :) They loved it...well most of them. One Ute fan told me that he would never be caught dead wearing a BYU shirt...except for me, because that is how much he liked me. haha I was flattered! We took a group photo and it made my life!
I love sixth grade, and am really sad it is over. College is way lame and not near as exciting as elementary school...but I think I have talked about that before! ;)