Valley City (ND) Teacher's College (elementary education)
U of MN (Graduate Coursework)
My first years of teaching included 1/2 day of grade 4 reading and social studies. The other half of the day I was the elementary music teacher with 150 students one day and the other 150 students the next day. I was having so much fun that I did not continue my own education for the next 5 years. I was then offered a new concept (at that time) of becoming an elementary guidance counselor. Within a few months I approached my college advisor saying I did not want to be a guidance counselor--I just wanted to be a good classroom teacher and he should replace me in this new program of elementary counseling. He talked me into staying with the program. That proved to be a wise decision as teaching, no matter what level you work with, involves counseling, listening and then guiding the student on how to solve problems. I learned to listen very carefully to what the students were struggling with and then help give them the tools to succeed no matter what they thought they could not do.
When I retired from classroom teaching, I began tutoring students at all levels of need including adults who had not completed high school. I could not say which was my favorite subject or grade level because I just like sharing my own love of learning. I hope I can pass that same feeling on to the student sitting next to me.
A student asked me one time to help him with a science project that was for a class I did not teach. I explained to the student that I wasn't very good at science and probably could not help. He came back with "Yes, but you do it better than the others". That still makes me smile because building a trusting and honest relationship with another individual is probably the secret to creating a solid working relationship with another to achieve their goals.
In my 30 plus years of teaching, I have encountered challenging students, subjects, new methods. And that has kept me "fresh" and willing to perhaps use unorthodox methods. I have used boxes of macaroni and cheese to help me help the child want to read something meaningful--directions. I tend to talk about my cat and even a first grader wanted to learn to spell his name--Shakespeare!--so he could make a Valentine card for him. We have turned a jacket inside out to find (and read) the washing instructions: 100% cotton, warm water only. The possibilities are endless!
I never wanted to be a teacher. But now I can't wait to have the opportunity to help a child enjoy words, knowledge, and then sincerely share the successes the child will most certainly attain. I promise! My first years of teaching included 1/2 day of grade 4 reading and social studies. The other half of the day I was the elementary music teacher with 150 students one day and the other 150 students the next day. I was having so much fun that I did not continue my own education for the next 5 years. I was then offered a new concept (at that time) of