Kindergartners Wired for Learning
Kindergarten students are thirsty for knowledge and their excitement is palpable. As the days progress, I am witnessing first-hand the process of how a young mind untangles the symbols of language by stringing the sounds of letters together to decode words on a page. This is reading and they are embarking upon the most important learning process of their lives! I am not only witness to this miracle, I am their guide showing them where and how to find the keys so that they can learn to unlock this great gift of language. And then there is the mystery of numbers — numbers greater than 20 have real names, two numbers together make a higher number – as the students start to put these pieces together, you can clearly see the excitement on their faces. It’s learning in its purest form – inquiry and discovery.
We’re All in this Together
As I watch the students’ minds open up through learning and discovery, I can’t help but feel that my journey parallels theirs’. Every day, I too, am on a learning curve trying to fit together the pieces of the educational puzzle. At the end of each day I come home with more practices and pedagogy than the day before. As an intern, this may be expected, but the thirst for knowledge is not just relegated to students — everyone at this school, (and perhaps every great school), is thirsty for knowledge and the quest to be better at what they do.
No one Really Has All the Answers
I am greatly aware of how much I need to learn in this craft of teaching so I have made it a point on several occasions to reach out to some of the more experienced teachers on our staff, so that I may pick their brains for advice and insight. I’ve spoken with teachers who’ve been doing this for more than 10 or even 20 years, and when I ask these educational gurus for some sage advice they offer it freely, but always seem to qualify it with some version of: “But hey, I am still learning myself!”
Learning for Life
This is good to know that even the experts are still figuring it all out. It tells me that this profession of teaching, like life, is infinitely richer because we can’t possibly know all that there is to know. And just like those kindergartners who are starting out on their journey, it is a reminder that learning truly is a life-long process and should be filled with wonder, excitement, and most importantly, love