My name is Stephanie Johnson, and I am from a little town near Atlanta, Georgia. I am a freshman majoring in elementary education, working on my general education requirements and planning on applying to the education program soon. I am super excited to share my experiences with you!
If you look at my old school things, there’s a mirror made from yellow construction paper and tin foil in shaky kindergarten letters, “It’s clear to see I want to be a teacher.” People often ask me why I would choose to be an underpaid, under appreciated elementary teacher, when I could be anything I wanted. The answer is hard to explain. For one, I really love little kids. I love their laughs, their cheesy jokes, their innocence, and especially their ability to love and forgive whole-heartedly. My instinct is to help them and protect them in whatever way possible. For another, the education I get from my major will help me to be a better mother, which is my ultimate dream. I also really enjoy helping people understand things and I have patience for that. I like the idea of being able to use what I have learned and the skills I have to teach other people.
I have had the opportunity to test out my skills in a classroom. I did an internship my junior year in a kindergarten class, and it was the best class I have ever taken. I looked forward to it every day and missed it so much when it was over. I learned so much about being a teacher and about myself. I did all the tedious parts of a classroom, such as cutting out little booklets and stapling them together, or cutting out a billion frogs. I had those days where I had a headache and the kids were not listening to what I asked them to do. I understand, though, that it is worth it when you see the light go on in that one child’s eyes when she finally gets what you have been explaining to her over and over.
One of my favorite students was a little girl who was one of the youngest in our class. She had trouble sounding out words, and it was often delegated to me to help her with her writing. She didn’t seem to make much progress over the school year, but I did my best. At the end of the year, each student presented me with a letter and a picture. The letter this particular girl wrote looked like a jumble of letters, but my mentor teacher told me that she insisted on writing the whole thing by herself. I can’t read it, but that letter means so much to me.
I love the saying, “teachers touch the future.” The elementary age is such an impressionable one, and I can’t wait to be an influence for the good. How will the major that you have picked make the world a better place? I would love to hear your opinions!