Technically, teachers aren’t supposed to pick favorites. But I’m not a real teacher; I’m only pretending to be a teacher for a couple of weeks, so technicalities don’t really apply to me.
I wanted to work with kids because it’s usually people my age that I have a harder time seeing eye-to-eye with. Little kids are simple, innocent, humorously oblivious and honest. Brutally honest. They don’t care where you got your jeans from or who took whose juice box. And they smile. ALL THE TIME. I don’t have to wait until they’ve had their morning coffee to see them in a good mood. There isn’t much to “get to know”. What you see is what you get so, in this case, it’s easy to judge a book by its cover since the book is really just a manual. It’s also pretty interesting that no matter where you are in the world, children will always be the same; they’re the universal equalizer (a little chemistry joke dedicated to my 11th grade science teacher).
You have the really shy ones with bright blue eyes and pig tails. There are the girly ones who apply flavored chapstick every couple of minutes and love giving you hugs. Then you will find the very mature eight year olds who do their work, ask questions politely and always color inside the lines. And finally, you have the typical, loud troublemakers who find it funny to scream, never listen to directions and spin around until they become too dizzy to stand up.
Being in front of the classroom as a figure of “authority” kind of feels like being an explorer in a rainforest or an exotic jungle. You have hundreds of different species placed in front of you and even though you are forced to believe that you are their superior, you can never truly predict what they will do next or how they will react to a certain amount of workbook pages. So you just do what any good explorer in your shoes would do: you observe, form a hypothesis, test your theory and record your results.
And as if I haven’t grown at all in the past 10 years, I feel like I am going to school as one of them. Except, this time around, I am the most popular girl at school. I can go sit at any table I want for lunch…even with (pause for dramatic effect) the upperclassmen! Since they are all in school uniforms, I get complemented on my clothes everyday. I don’t remember elementary school being so much fun but I’m enjoying being back in a world where you write everything in crayon and automatically become friends with the girls who have the same Cinderella pencil pouch as you. This whole experience is really symbolic to me in the sense that I can literally (and a little metaphorically) see myself make the transition from kid to older kid. I think Britney Spears put it best when she said, “not a girl, not yet a woman.”