Today was the first day of school.
For those who don’t know, I’m a preschool teacher. I teach children who are within the age ranges of 1.5-2 years old, and I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s easy even though I’ve been doing it for about 4 years now.
Teaching takes a lot of things: motivation, energy, patience, endurance…sometimes I find that since I’ve been doing it so long, that every day should be a piece of cake, or at least, not so difficult that I’m exhausted in every way (physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually).
But the thing about teaching is, it isn’t just about dealing with the children; it’s also about communicating to parents, other teachers, supervisors and directors. In a lot of ways, it can be seen as a customer service occupation i.e. “the parent is always right.” And that isn’t the case every time, but a lot of the time I find myself putting on a fake smile, and just going through the motions to be sure that the parents and the kids feel comfortable and at peace.
Despite being the teacher, I’m being taught a lot…like, if you told me I’d know a lot about the developmental stages of a 1.5-2.5 year old? I would’ve looked at you crazy. But here I am, and when a parent asks me a question, I can confidently answer due to my experience in the classroom for so long. And the age group I have is honestly one of the most difficult because they grow so much and go through so many phases. But it can also be the most rewarding because they develop so much over that 9-month period that they’re completely different than they were when they first stepped into the classroom on the first day of school. Developmental lessons have definitely been taught.
Also, I’m realizing how much I’ve been taught to stand up for myself when it comes to certain things that happen within the school system or with other teachers, or even just putting my foot down (gently) about class rules that parents don’t follow sometimes. Even though I never saw myself here at all, I’ve been here for a while, and I can say that it has grown and shaped me a lot. But I see how hard I have to work to achieve other goals I have, and slowly and eventually step away from this role altogether.
For now though, you can call me “Ms. Mishy.” As far as I know, I’ll be here all school year! But it doesn’t take away from my creativity. As a matter of fact, sometimes it’s just the push I need to work harder to get where I want to be in that aspect!
Are you working at your dream job? If so, was it everything you thought it would be? If not, how are you motivating yourself to get to where you want to be? And what lessons are you learning in the occupation that you’re in now?