11 May 2008

"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.

6 comments:

SweetAnnee said...

Wonderful post.!!
you're a dear ..deena

Hip Grandma said...

Teachers are mothers all over again.More so if they teach pre schoolers.I know of a teacher who refused an offer to teach High school children and opted to remain in the primary section although she was likely to get a pay hike.Lucky you!
Happy mother's day.

hillgrandmom said...

Thanks Deena. Read all your posts.
Nice to see you HHG. Hope you're doing ok.

Usha said...

That is indeed an interesting observation. I always thought that our personalities get formed in the teens. May be we do not observe the child closely enough.
And that last statement - how true. I have similar thoughts when I see children. :)

Dotm said...

Children are so lucky to have a teacher like you who enjoys being with them and helping to form their tender years. A Dr once told me that a childs way in life is formed by the time they are 3 or 4 years old. He told me that after that you can improve, but you will never completely change them.
So, it is so important for them to have someone like you to help teach them.
Interesting and great post.

Jane Turley said...

This is so true... a child's personality is innate but it is also shaped by early life experiences. Teaching is such an important job but I feel that over here in the UK it has lost its status despite the job becoming more amd more demanding; teachers are now substitute parents, social workers and discipinarians. One of the greatest things about being a teacher is knowing you have to alter and change lives for the better which, if you think about it, is a remarkable gift. I certainly vividly recall one of my teachers who did this for me. (See my post Life and language.) I think "essence" is a good word to describe the core of one's being. Whatever experiences one has we can never get away from that little bit inside us that nothing and no one can ever change.