Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teachable Moments

As I've mentioned A MILLION times on this blog, I adore my job as a dance, drama and creative writing teacher. I've had the privilege of working with the same group of kids for two full years nearly EVERY day (including summer sessions), and I love each of them like they're my own. I'm going back to school in the fall and will be leaving teaching for a while, and though I know it's the right decision, the thought of leaving my kids is heart-breaking to me. Knowing that my days with them are numbered, I've been conscious to take in just how much I love to teach them, encourage them, guide them and watch them grow. 

Teaching is 99% improvisation. Even on good days, things very rarely go as planned. Yesterday, there was an electrical fire in the basement of our school, causing us to evacuate and lose the rest of the day for teaching. I arrived this morning to learn that there was no electricity and we were not allowed to have the kids in the building, so we'd be holding our summer program in the park down the street. 

The kids were given free-play time, but somehow myself and several of the kids ended up doing circuits on the fitness equipment. 

The kids were so curious about how to use each station, and LOVED watching me demonstrate everything (if you ever want to feel super buff, do a few good pushups or pullups in front of little kids). Our conversation quickly turned to body-image- I'm very open about the topic with my kids because it's something I don't think young people discuss enough, and my students know that they can talk to me about pretty much anything (I'm difficult to shock/ offend...).  One of the girls (WHY is it always the girls?) asked me how many times she'd have to do the circuits to be skinny. My answer- "Zero. If you exercise, you'll become strong, which is a lot better than just skinny."

As we were walking back to the rest of the group to get the kid's lunches, one of my 1st grade girls pulled me aside and asked if she could tell me something privately. I said yes and leaned down and she whispered, "I think I can feel my muscles growing" and smiled. 

And then it was back to my 2.5 mile commute home along the beach.

I. Love. My. Job.

What do you wish adults talked to kids about more often? What do you wish someone talked to you about when you were younger?


Liz said...

This is the most adorable post ever! I wish I had your job!

Keelie Sheridan said...

Thanks, girlie! I def teared up while writing it... I'm going to miss them!

Julie D. said...

gosh, this made me teary!! what a gift you are to them. What a cool job to be able to impact kids forever. Love it--strong not skinny!!! Way to go, Keelie. I think body image is a huge one that adults should talk to kids more often about. I hope my daughter learns that she is beautiful on the inside and out and what matters most is what is on the inside. Strong and beautiful...inside and out!! :)

Keelie Sheridan said...

Thank you, Julie! :) I feel so lucky to have been able to work with these kids.

How old is your daughter? I agree that it's such an important message. Strong and beautiful!

Julie said...

I wish adults (including me) would just take more time to talk to kids. They have so much great stuff to many thoughts that should be brought out that they may be stuffing down inside.

Keelie Sheridan said...

It's true! My kids say the most insanely profound things sometimes... :)

raj mangal said...

I think body image is a huge one that adults should talk to kids more often about.these all pics is looking very nice..beautiful post..thanks for sharing here..
Sports Good

Keelie Sheridan said...

Thank you, Raj! I adored my time as a teacher and I miss it a lot!

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