By Sophie Klein, SED 2016
My first summer as a camp counselor 7 years ago, I took on the additional duty of bus counselor. When the camp director called me and asked me if I would consider this position, I was flattered that he thought I was responsible and I was thrilled to be making extra money. I was going to be the best bus counselor in the history of bus counseling. I had a clipboard, names, addresses and an emergency barf kit that my mother put together that morning.
I was excited as the bus doors shut and the bus pulled away from my building. This was going to be fun. By the time the bus reached the camp 60 minutes later, I had a camper with magic marker all over his face, a camper loudly sobbing as to why he even had to go to camp, multiple campers asking if we were there yet, a camper who tossed a note for his counselor out the window and a camper who threw up in the aisle as the other horrified campers (and myself) watched the puke rolling up and down the aisle as we all covered our noses. Needless to say, I no longer felt flattered and I never wanted to take the bus again. But guess what? I stuck it out. I stayed, and was thanked a great deal by the nannies and the moms at the end of the day as their children arrived home in one piece.
So what’s the point of this story? Every time I walk into a classroom, I think back to that chaotic scene and know that as a teacher, there will be many first days filled with unexpected moments, and in a way that is what makes education and teaching so exciting; you never know what you’re going to walk into. I know that by the time I graduate I will be prepared to take on a classroom of 30 New York City public schoolers thanks to my education from SED. We have been taught to expect the unexpected and think on our toes and use every resource imaginable to make a lasting impact on our students. I look forward to finding a community similar to the one that I have found at SED that values all of the first days and surprises along the way.
Sophie Klein is a junior in the School of Education, majoring in Early Childhood Education.