Teaching Small Children, In Numbers

To accompany my Monday “When Plans Go Awry” post and based off the popularity of my “Parent’s Visit, In Numbers” post I decided to continue the theme, this time based off of my time working with small children, predominately from the ages of 6-9, with 5 and 10 year olds thrown in at times as well.

The calm before the storm

The calm before the storm

17: average times a day I’m sneezed on

1: time a sneeze was a legit snot rocket in the kids hand. I think it was alive.

8: presents (usually in the form of a drawing) I’ve received from my kids since I started in September

3: average numbers of games we play during one 45-minute gym class. Attention span, what attention span? Oh look – something glittery!

3: deep breathes I make my kids do before our afternoon lessons

10: deep breathes I need to do personally

5: hugs I get per grade

8: times a lesson I hear, “(somebody) did (something) to meeee.”

4: times a day I ignore above statement

1785: times per lesson I say “Sit DOWN!”

198735135: times per lesson I say “STOP TALKING!”

12: times a day, minimum, I mentally apologize to my old teachers

25: times I’ve sung, “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” since becoming an English teacher

16: average number of hours per week I work at home. … ……. ……

Satisfied – but I don't think I'll ever work on something of the sort for so long again (it's all about maximizing time and learning)

Satisfied – but I don’t think I’ll ever spend so much time on something of the sort again (it’s all about maximizing time and learning!)

7: average times I explain the same thing in a row.

3: average children who ask me what to do afterward^

5: average times someone cries per week

3: days it took me to realize that the other teachers are sometimes more difficult than the kids

250: times I smile per day (you try to get kids to like learning if you’re all frown-y!)

Though they are common subjects discussed, working with children isn’t all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. I try to be honest because I firmly believe that one of the largest disservices we can do to mothers and teachers alike is to act like it’s always peachy (I blame the suburbs for that mindset!). These petri-dishes of diseases are a handful and 26 of them in one room requires more than two hands!

That being said, being able to sing, dance, laugh and yell all in one day; being able to make a connection with the kids and being able to see them begin to understand, learn and grow makes all the stress, sneezes and snot rockets almost worthwhile.

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10 Responses to Teaching Small Children, In Numbers

  1. Love in Gina … sums things up beautifully! Welcome to the world of teaching and the land of little people!!!!

  2. Gina Peart says:

    started laughing when I read “the calm before the storm” and continued on through the post….still laughing! This is great! You are a trooper!

  3. Tracey Moose says:

    Love!

  4. I can *totally* relate to this post! I’m also a journalism major-turned-English teacher in Italy, and even though I teach high-schoolers, the violent sneezing and short attention spans are the same! Haha. Still, it can be such rewarding work. Like you, I don’t know whether I’ll stick with it long-term, but I’m happy to be doing it right now. It’s also crazy for me to contemplate how quickly I dropped my journalism life plan and ended up teaching in Italy. I think in the end it’s a riskier path, but the fulfillment that comes from living abroad (and occasionally writing about it, too) makes it more than worth it.

    I saw you will also be volunteering at IJF in Perugia this April! Congratulations! Sounds like we have quite a lot in common and will have plenty to chat about there! If you find yourself near Mantova in the meantime, let me know. I’d be happy to show you around my little town and talk Italy/life post-journalism school. :)

    • Gina says:

      It does seem we have a lot in common! It’s definitely a transition to spend all your time working toward something (journalism) only to graduate and not even set foot in that world, but I’m loving teaching and can’t think of a better option right now! Will you be at the festival as well? I did it last year and it is such a great opportunity and a lot of fun! Confession: I’ve actually never made it to Mantova, but if I do this spring I’ll let you know! haha

      • Mantova is beautiful– definitely worth the visit! And yes, I will be volunteering at IJF this year! This will actually be my third one, but I’ve been skipping years in between leaving/coming back to Italy… I volunteered in 2010 and 2012. It has been an extremely positive experience and I can’t wait to go back again this year! It’s great to hear you also really enjoyed it. I’ll look forward to meeting you there, or maybe beforehand in Mantova if you make a day trip here!

        -Stephanie

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