Saturday, December 11, 2010

Junior Achievement

I want to take a moment to reflect on something that was one of my favorite things this Fall 2010 quarter.
Life rushes on so quickly, and it seems all to easy to move on and forget the moments the shaped us into who we are now in this moment.

This last quarter, I had my first class that actually directly correlated with my currently planned major, elementary education.  I had a course in Intro to Education. It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about education and teaching through my incredible instructor.

What I learned from the most, was by volunteering with Junior Achievement.
I was able to go and teach in a 1st grade class at Irene Reither.  I was so excited to be able to work with 1st graders, as that is the age I have been hoping to be able to teach after I graduate from a teaching program.  I can not explain the joy that teaching in the classroom brought me.  I was ecstatic to be able to work with the kids. They are so very eager to learn, and all so very different from each other.  Walking in on the first day, I knew that I was in the correct major in school. I felt completely at home with the kids.  Being able to help them with worksheets and projects while teaching them made it possible to be able to interact with each and every one of them on a personal level.  The best part was that each time my teaching partner and I returned to teach a JA lesson, the kids were super excited to see us. They loved us! How could that not melt my heart?!  I love kids, and sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the fact that each and everyone of us has the power to greatly influence the children around us.  We influence children by each and every action, whether it be negative or positive.  So many children come from broken homes, or are abused, neglected, or just overwhelmed the the current circumstances in their lives.  I see teaching as a little way to bring positive joy to children.  Any and every way that you can/are involved in a child's life, should be moments that you take to your very heart.  You never know what a person has been through, or where their life is in that moment. You never know where a person's heart is, whether its broken, crushed, depressed, empty, eager, hardened, fragile, or just putting on a very brave front. Very often it is just that, a very brave front.  Whether children or adults, this is all around us.  Take every encounter that you have, as a moment to just be there for someone. What kind of simple and beautiful difference can you make? We all can make one, no matter where we are in our life ourselves.
Children especially need the power of positive influence and encouragement.  While teaching JA I was reminded of the years I spent teaching several different aged ballet classes.  I saw firsthand the huge influence that a little bit of encouragement makes, and how the act of truly caring made a dynamic difference in my students lives.

I am so very thankful for the wonderful experience I have had while volunteering with Junior Achievement, and for everything that it has taught me.
~This moment is now~

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