A Lovely Little Dream
If I could have anything I wanted it would be...
By Jacqui Coffman
I think about my future as a teacher often. I imagine how I would structure my days and think of cute crafts I would do with my future students. Every time I think about this I get even more excited. I believe that teaching is the most rewarding and enjoyable job there is. Which made my decision to be a teacher very simple. I cant wait to spread the joy of knowledge.
"Knowledge is love and light and vision." -Helen Keller
Who would I teach?
I would love to teach first grade. For some reason that has always been the grade I feel I should be with. The children are beginning to find out who they are and finding the joy of learning. They are excited to come to school and learn new things. This is when they are introduced to simple math and are learning so many new words. I would have a classroom size of 15. I don't think the children get the attention they deserve if there's anymore than that.
First grade was my first year in school. My mother homeschooled me my kindergarten year. I had an amazing first grade teacher. I loved school and was so excited to go to school and learn new things. I believe my great experience in first grade explains my passion for teaching first graders.
Having great teachers aides is a blessing to any teacher. In my dream classroom I would have a few wonderful aides that loved children as much as I do, to help me keep the classroom under control. Working with great happy people makes a big difference.
Where would I teach?
I don't have a preference whether I would want to work at a private or public school. In fact, since in this paper I can "have anything I want", I would change the public school system. The teachers would have more say in the rules and ways of the school system. The public schools would go more by the Montessori method in the way that the child deserves independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a their natural psychological, physical, and social development. However I would like same grade classrooms. My reasoning for this is because I was in a split classroom of 4th and 5th graders. I remember this not being a good year for me. The teacher had a hard time teaching two different curriculums. I think this would be a challenge for me as well.
I think the public school system does not have respect for the children's natural psychological, physical, and social development. This is one of the biggest thing I would change. Some of the requirements for young children are beyond ridiculous and do not give children enough time to develop. It seems as though there are more and more requirement as the years go on. If I could have anything I wanted the teachers would decide what the requirement are.
"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney
A child's learning environment is very important. I would love my classroom to be like the Reggio Emilia classrooms, with big windows and skylights "so that the classrooms are flooded with natural light" (Who am I in the lives of children, 91). I would have plants and mirrors throughout the classroom. The children would take turns watering the plants. It would be fun to have a large fish tank with all sorts of different fish that the children take turns feeding. Each child would have their own area on the wall that has their picture and displays their newest and favorite art work. My classroom would be filled with books, art supplies, and ART!
"The physical envirnment created at the Reggio Emilia schools honors the child's right to have a beautiful, functional space in which to work and play" (Who am I in the lives of children, 91).
I think it would be great to teach the children a foreign language in school when they are young. It is extremely hard to learn a new language when you are older but many studies have proven that it is easier to learn a foreign language when you are young. Introducing them to a new language could be exciting for the children!
Some people (including me) have a fear of speaking in front of an audience. I think introducing public speaking when they are young would be very beneficial. Of coarse NOT requiring them to speak but making it very settle maybe by asking them if they would like to share what they did over the weekend with the class.
I do believe in having a plan and curriculum for each day. I think a teacher needs to be organized. However the plan needs to be flexible when working with young children. Always being prepared to change the curriculum according to how the children respond is important. The children may not be ready for what you had planned for that day or it could just be an off day in the classroom.
I would have my weeks planned out in advance and make adjustment's when necessary. I think its important to get the children in a routine. In my classroom we would have a daily routine with exceptions of coarse. I think children crave structure.
For example, starting everyday with a song then taking role, then feeding the fish and watering the plants.
One thing I would do everyday in my classroom is having a story time. I would close all the blinds, turn off the lights, and light a candle. I think I would do this after lunch each day so the children could calm down and get back into the learning mode.
It is very apparent that teachers do not make as much as they deserve. If I could have anything I wanted, I would live comfortably with the income I received. Being happy with your job is much more important than hating your job and making a lot of money. Money follows happiness.
I can't wait for my future as a early childhood educator. I want to do more than teach my students but to be a part of their lives. I can not see myself as anything else except a teacher.