By Zeba Race, SED 2014
On the day I moved into college, my dad told me to appreciate every moment because it will be over before you know it. Looking at the four years ahead of me, and the countless classes I had to take, I did not believe him. Four years is a long time! But here I sit, done with college and I can’t help but laugh at my naiveté. College went by fast… too fast. Four years is actually a short amount of time, especially when I condensed it to three and a half. The end of college is like what I imagine a near-death experience to be like – when they say that your life flashes before your eyes. I walk down the street and I get flashes of moments I had just a semester ago or as much as two years ago. These flashes make me smile and they also make me sad. I loved every minute of college, even the minutes that I didn’t particularly like.
Not only did I recently finish college, but I also finished my student teaching in a 1st grade classroom. As I start to apply for teaching jobs, I start reflecting on all that I have learned in my time at BU. It’s pretty much impossible to sum up all that I have learned, but I will give it a try.
I learned it’s ok to be silly. I learned how to show the children that you love them and are excited to see them. I learned how to keep my directions specific and short. I learned how to do movement breaks and change my voice to regain students’ attention. I learned how to make visuals to help both visual learners and ELL students. I learned how hard it is to teach everything in the curriculum and still teach what you believe to be important for your students. I learned how hard it is to attain a work-life balance, but how crucial it is. I learned how important parents are to the learning process, and I also learned how frustrating they can be at times. I learned how when you teach two groups the same lesson, you always teach the second lesson better. I learned how many materials a teacher needs – it is a lot. I learned how students can be responsible for taking care of the classroom and keeping it clean. I learned it’s ok to make mistakes or try things differently, because that’s how you learn what does work. I learned that people know when a teacher comes from BU – that we are so well trained. I learned that I love teaching.
I wrote in my goodbye letter to the families in the classroom I student-taught in this semester that I entered this semester as a student and I’m walking away a teacher. I really believe that, but don’t worry – I’ll be a life-long learner, if not formally a life-long student. BU creates teachers who value learning. I am excited to start teaching and put all that BU has taught me to use, but I will definitely miss BU and all my professors and friends I have made through this incredible journey.
*Zeba Race is a senior at Boston University School of Education studying early childhood education.