three days in, here is what i’ve learned

the first three days of student teaching are behind me now.

here is what i have learned, in list form.

1. your students will break your heart in a million ways.

2. find a high point every day. even a little one. it helps to hang onto. it especially helps if a student is having a rough day and has a moment that makes you smile.

3. anyone who says that elementary school must be easy to teach is an idiot.

4. kids get REALLY excited about learning cursive.

5. caring too much is impossible and is, in fact, an important part of teaching. every teacher i have spoken to, new and veteran, tells me that they have to have one good cry after learning about the lives of their students. mine came this past thursday night, when my 20-minute drive home was just enough time for my emotions to creep through my pores and soak me in sadness for the weight some of these kids have to carry already. i got home, called my best friend for a long talk, talked to a roommate, then crawled into a bath so hot that my skin ached, so full of bubbles i could not see water, and drank a glass of wine while immersed so that i could only hear my pulse in my ears. and i cried. and i got it out. and it helped. and i’ll do it again, i am sure.

6. when a kid in the hallway cries, every adult in earshot runs out to check.

7. plan your next week’s lessons by thursday so you can have free weekends.

8. coffee is a godsend.

9. sit with the kids who have allergies and cannot eat with everyone else. they need a friend sometimes.

10. sometimes, you have to bite your tongue so you don’t guffaw at what a student has just told you. they are endearingly serious and have no idea how funny they are.

that’s what i got so far. sleep is also my absolute favorite thing, ever. i also know that i am quite certain that i have picked the path i need to be on for now.