Why kids are the best, and what I’ve learned from my students

I’ve been teaching for four years. I’ve worked in pre-school through 5th grade classrooms in New York City and Miami. Kids are awesome. There are days when I go home and I have a thousand stories to tell because kids make you laugh all day long. I LOVE BEING A TEACHER! Kids sing and dance for no reason, laugh at my corny jokes, tell me completely inappropriate things about their parents, and usually listen to me.

Here are the top 3 things I’ve learned from my students:

1. Maybe you hate something because it’s intimidating- Kids will tell you if they aren’t interested in a topic, if something is boring, or if they hate school or even you. However, let’s not panic. Sometimes, kids say “I hate math,” as a coping mechanism. Most of the time they “hate” something because it’s difficult for them and instead of overcoming it, it’s easier to “hate” it. Do you ever realize that you “hate” your coworker or meetings, etc.? Could it be that you’re intimidated by someone else’s success or dislike going to certain meetings because they’re overwhelming? Think about it. Usually, after I show a kid a different ways of doing an addition problem, they no longer “hate” math and start loving math. Think deeply about why you “hate” something…. Is there really a reason to?

 

2. Be kind – The number one rule in my classroom is to be kind. I remind my lovely nine year olds that you don’t have to be friends with everybody but you need to be kind. This should be a rule in adult world. Is there ever a reason to be rude to another human being? If everyone were just nice to each other, major world problems would be solved.

 

3. Find something you enjoy and embrace it-  I’ve worked with children from all over the world, with a wide range of interests. I have a kid in my class, whose eight, that’s completely obsessed with exotic fruits and is currently writing a book about fruits, complete with descriptions and illustrations. Strange? Yes. Nonetheless, it’s impressive. I’ve also met kids who can code at age 12, who love to dance, enjoy horseback riding, jet skiing, and more. I even know a kid whose memory is so good, that he remembers everyone’s birthday that he meets. You never know what you’re going to be good at, try new things, and try to put them to good use. Maybe the little boy who loves exotic fruits will become a great chef or famous nutritionist. Maybe the girl that loves to dance will join Alvin Ailey. You never know. These things make them happy, and that’s what is important.

 

Tiffany