Well, not quite the first time. This is not my first time to handle preschoolers; I’ve done it before in my previous practicum back at UP. This is, however, my first time being with Preschool A, and that in itself is an entirely different experience.
Nervousness was the main feeling that came over me as I began to interact with Preschool A. I was not too sure how to interact with younger children. Having taught a class of four year olds, I was accustomed to loud and hyper-energetic (not to mention bigger) children. Imagine my surprise when I first saw the students I would eventually teach! I quietly thought to myself, “These are small kids.” But you know what they say about small things—they tend to surprise you.
The first few days with Preschool A was spent observing and understanding them. Getting to know the children was like being part of a new group—knowing faces, following conversations, recognizing behaviors, and getting used to a new environment. Soon enough, this new group was beginning to feel familiar. I could feel the children warming up to me each time they approached me for help. Teacher LA (my Cooperating Teacher), Teacher Gia (my fellow Student Teacher aka my partner), and I began to work more smoothly together. The nervousness was beginning to fade as I found my own place within the classroom. It must be funny to read that a young adult like me was nervous to be around little children. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? These little kids should have been alarmed to have someone unfamiliar join them every day, talk to them every day, much more, watch them every day.
But that’s how it is. In the same way that, even if these students are to learn from me, it is actually me learning from them.
I learned that as much as I am older than these children, as much as I have experienced more of life, I am still a child in this world. There is still much that I have yet to learn, and every day I wake up is just another opportunity to make the most of everything I encounter.