My class is filled with inspired and passionate students who come ready each week to share their experiences working in the ECE field with others. It is at times, an exhilarating experience to be in a room surrounded with adult students who enjoy the exchange of information and experiences that are shared by their classmates.
Aside from recognizing that they all come from different backgrounds; both culturally and socio-economically, there is a common thread amongst them of a desire to learn and a desire to give. This by itself has been immensely rewarding to me as a first time professor. I am wondering if it has happened because of this particular mix of individuals or because I set the tone for them in the manner in which I embrace teaching. Whatever combination of the two ideas, I appreciate it and them.
As I read the other entries in this blog, I see that many of you share specifics about the practice of teaching that you find relevant. For me, the emotional and social construct of working with others is the most important aspect. As we determined with children, they will all learn to read and write in their own time. But, will they all learn to be kind, giving respectful contributors who are open to the ideas of others, willing to play and share nicely? The answer is not necessarily, unless they are provided with role models for whom doing just that, are received as valuable skills to master.
Mentor teaching is one of the most important jobs we can hold as an educator. Each one of you does it on a daily basis, whether you are teaching Math, Music, Science, or Child Development classes. You share your enthusiasm with your students for the subject you teach, hopefully because you not only excel in the subject matter but also because you enjoy the discussions and helping students to understand its specifics.
Every class experience opens a new door for me, and what I learn from my students and am reminded about in human nature and human development are the gifts that I take away.