As a PreK teacher I hear the word “why” all day, every day. “Why do snail eggs stick to the glass? Why are those clouds flat? Why do birds talk to each other? Why did that tree fall?” Not only do the children ask me “why,” but so do parents, colleagues, and people I meet in the community.
So what is the most asked question by grown-ups… “Why do you like teaching PreK?”
Here’s my story: Like many people, as a child, I neither loved nor hated school– I liked school. While it was just something I did every day, there were certain highlights and specific outstanding teachers that stand out in my memory. I graduated high school and went on to college. Once I received my B.A. in Communications, I was convinced I would never go to school again. I began working at a small private school in New York City as an after school teacher, then the next year as an assistant teacher in a second grade classroom. Several of the other assistant teachers were attending Bank Street graduate school. I was curious and signed up for a class—just one. I was hooked! I applied to be a full time student and loved every minute of the program, which, not surprisingly, aligns with BCD’s Reggio Emilia approach of exploration and discovery.
My goal as a teacher to make my students love learning and be excited to come to school. And that their love of learning continues throughout their lives.
I love teaching. As a teacher you continually learn and grow each day. You learn new strategies, ideas, and skills. You get to collaborate with your colleagues, and they hold the same hopes and desires for their students. You learn a lot about yourself, not only as a teacher but as a person.
So that’s teaching. Why PreK? Why this age? PreK is special because three-, four-, and five-year-olds see the world in a different light than adults. They see the world with excitement; everything is new and fresh. It is energizing to see the children discover unfamiliar things, learn from each other, connect the dots to figure out solutions. What they are doing in our class lays some of the earliest building blocks for all the classes that will come after and for how they will live their lives. Oh, and they surprise me. Every. Single. Day.
In a nutshell, I love that my work has a purpose. I get the opportunity to touch the lives of my students and contribute to making their future one that is bright and productive. My goal as a teacher to inspire my students to love learning and be excited to come to school. And ensure that their love of learning continues throughout their lives. These are the things that I remember about those exceptional teachers that I had who made an impact on me as a student, and I’m honored to carry that on to the next generation.