Growing up as a middle child in a large family there was always something to do. Playing hide and seek with my younger siblings or getting dressed up with my older sister. But through all the fun there were also chores that needed to be done. With such a large family we needed to help each other so that Mom would not pull her hair out and ground us all. My big sister Kayla was left in charge and she looked to me for help or how I looked at it as bossing me around. She was the foreman on the construction site and I was just a grunt. As she sat on the couch giving me orders I thought to myself , “ Someone should give her a bell.” I had to help my sisters and brothers get ready in the morning like a mother duck and her ducklings by making breakfast, making sure that they were fed, that their teeth were brushed. My job was to make sure they were ready for school and that I was as well. These moments, good and bad taught me to care for young children. These beginning tools set me on my way to become a teacher.
As I continued through school and began to reach the end, the big important question of “What are you going to be ?” came up . Just like in kindergarten when the teacher asked if you wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter. There where so many options to choose from.The school passed out a test which would determine what you should be. This test gave you different options to choose from that your skills would match up well with. But so many questions and doubts ran through my head. “ Am I going to be good at that?” Or “ Will I be happy with my job choice?” My test results were in! They told me I should become an aero mechanic or a teacher. I left that day with so many thoughts, until I realized I was no good at math so aero mechanic would be out of the question. Teaching sounded like the best possibility especially with all the training I had acquired from my home life.
With my new found knowledge of what I might be good at , I entered the mountain scholar program, which taught me how to manage money and how to properly dress for a job interview. This program would give me the skills to apply for my first real job as a teacher. Our advisor Mr Kevin who was a large man with a jolly laugh, kind of looked like a Santa wanna be, sat with a group of teenagers and asked us “ What do you want be ?” Once again I was being asked this question. And without thinking I gave him a piece of my mind . “ Hell if I know!” I responded. He went on to give me the big speech about you can be anything you want to be as long as you put your mind to it. But this made me think “ I was great with children and with some schooling I could be a teacher.”
After a long search I found an opening at the local Boys and Girls Club. I applied and was accepted! Mrs. Beckey, an old skinny woman was my boss and would show me around the center. About thirty kids from the local elementary school attended this after school program. I was told to manage the children and keep them on schedule, this meant I was to play and interact with the students while keeping everything running smoothly. “ Easy !” I thought. I had done this millions of times while getting my siblings ready for school. However it was not at all what I expected . My day consisted of Johnny hitting Sara and Rachel wetting her pants. Oh yea she’s hungry too! Let’s just say the day did not go as planned and I left feeling a little low about myself.
However on the worst first day of my young adult life I learned some valuable information. I learned not to allow myself to become overwhelmed, you need to step back once in a while and collect yourself. Also I realized that I needed to pay more attention to the students body language and social behavior. For example if I had noticed Rachel doing the potty dance in the corner I could have sent her to the restroom. Second, if I saw Johnny teasing Sara for losing a game of tetherball, it would have never escalated to hitting. Through one of the most difficult days of my job career I learned many valuable tools that I have taken with me throughout my career.
A couple of years down the road I found myself at Kids Corner preschool as a teacher’s assistant. This is where I learned how the classroom processed. I was encouraged to enroll into college classes for my certification in early childhood education. Through these classes I have come to understand how a young child develops socially and cognitive. But the most valuable knowledge I have encountered was from being hands on in the classroom setting. Being able to interact with my students and staff members has helped me understand that nothing can prepare you for what could happen while working with young child. However with the skills and knowledge I gained at the Boys and Girls Club and my own family I feel confident in my skills as a teacher.