Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's Work Without Passion???

I recently had a conversation with another woman that works in the same building as me. I never really have talked much to this woman before, but I have seen her almost everyday while on my way to do my usual job of washing the dishes. She asked me if I was in college and what I was majoring in, so I told her that I am majoring in early childhood education. She looked at me and said, "You know you're gonna be poor for the rest of your life, right?" I looked at her sort of surprised she was being so frank with me considering I really have hardly said anything to her but hello every now and then when I pass her in the hall. I told her that I was well aware that pre-school teachers do not make much money, but I wasn't really looking for the best paying job. I told her that teaching kids is what I love to do and I would rather do something I really love to do everyday and be poor for the rest of my life then spend my days rich but dreading going to work everyday because I wouldn't have the passion for what I was doing to make the money. I think to really enjoy something you have to have passion for it. What's life without passion? It would be very boring and depressing in a way to do something you have to do without the passion to drive me to do my very best.
So what do I really love about my job? Why am I so happy to go to work everyday? The kids. I love those kids. I love kids in general. They are excited to learn and at the age I am working with, three year olds, there is so much going on cognitively with them. It is exciting to watch and see their minds working as they are trying to master something they have been working on for weeks to figure out. It is enjoyable to see the moment when that light bulb switches on in their minds and they finally get it. I love knowing that these children trust me to take care of them when they hurt themselves. I love coming into work every morning and immediately being encircled by children all waiting for their usual morning hug from Miss Resa. I enjoy cuddling with them when they just feel the need to be held in someone's lap. I really love helping them learn the basic skills like going to the rest room, how to treat their friends in the right way, learning how to be a good sport when things do not necessarily go their way. Those types of things help with how they will treat others when they are older. I also get excited when I teach them new concepts and they get what I am teaching them... Sometimes I do not think people realize that play happens to be the best way for young children to learn. Some parents need to see some sort of "paper work" to prove that their child is learning something, when the best learning they have at that age really is while they are playing with each other. Knowing that I am helping to "form" the minds of the future generation is an exciting and challenging thing to think about, so I take my job very seriously. Teaching young kids is what I have passion for, and so I do not mind being poor in exchange for all I get to and all the love I receive for anything.

2 comments:

Mike said...

I have oftentimes thought that what we are passionate about and where there is need, that's where our vocation is. I'm so glad to see you have found yours! As you say, passion makes someone good at what they do. And you seem quite good at what you do, seeing as all the kids you once had but have graduated to elem. school always run up to the kitchen to say hello when you're doing the dishes.

I remember Sydney babysitting me as a young boy. I was in the preschool program at St. Charles the first year it opened, and I gave Mrs. Alexander and Sydney a challenge. I refused to eat anything except peanut butter crackers. I taught them patience, I bet.

Anyway, good point about play as the best form of education. That's where I learned most, now that I think of it.

Suzanne said...

Teresa,
As your mom and friend, I cannot tell you how much happiness it brings me to know that you love so much of what you are doing. I know it is hard hard some days and on those days, I want to hug you, but you've had all kinds of little arms tuggin on you all day and voices and I can understand how on those days..you just want quiet and I'll try to remember that even more now. It is just so wonderful how well you have taken to this because as you know, I am not a believer in daycare if a momma can stay home, however, if they cannot, then no better a soul than you to care for, as you say, the next generation coming up. As Mike says, having those kids come up to you later...growing up, it is meaningful to them how they feel about the time you gave them and they know..believe me, I think they know who is doing something for $$ and just a job, and who truly has the spirit of individually caring for them. Our Lord is so pleased about this..I feel it deep inside and I guess you do too.
Good for you! Good for them too! :)