"I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world,
I think to myself what a wonderful world"
I love being with young children, especially the from the time they start talking till around the age of 6 or 7. I have been teaching pre-school children off and on for over 20 years and now I have a pre-school grandchild.
What I find fascinating is watching a personality forming. Of course every new-born has it's own personality, it's own way of reacting to the world around it. No 2 new-borns are the same in the way they react to externals. But what is fascinating is watching how these personalities develop and grow and solidify. We, as teachers, try to mould their personalities, within their preferred ways of reacting to the world, so that they grow up to be people who can face the world with an inner strength.
As we live in a small town, we often get to watch our ex-students grow up. Now many of our ex-students are parents themselves and some of them have brought their children to our pre-school. To me that is even more fascinating as we see these young adults who we knew so well when they were 3 and 4!
What I have found most interesting is that the judgement we form of the child's personality when he/she leaves our school--usually around age 4 or 5--is what that person's personality is basically like when they become adults. We have had so many of the parents and children say that they have kept their reports and looked at it much later and found how true our assessments of their personalities were. I have seen children grow, rebel, seem totally different from what they were, but eventually come back to their essence, the essence that we saw at age 3/4/5.
I don't know whether all this is making sense and whether it is interesting to anyone else. but for me it gives me great joy and is, for me, one of the reasons I love my job. I think a teacher's job, especially of the younger children, is always one of hope for the future, because even if 2 of a class of 25 have that inner spark it spells so much hope for the future and you wait with bated breath for them to be adults. Besides, it is always exciting for me to think that here are these children I love and teach, and each year a new batch and they are going to be living in a world I may never see even and I see that as a direct connection to the future.