Story submitted by: Savannah Reams
This year marks my third year of teaching elementary students. As an educator, I have learned that many challenges, set-backs, and changes are inevitable. However, in any career where children are involved, the benefits far outweigh the inevitabilities.
The moments I have spent cheering as a student grasps a concept, holding my breath during their first Tropicana Speech competition, or crying as my very first 5th Grade class graduated are life changing. These moments have given me a reason to press on a little harder, try another technique, or take a deep breath when times become overwhelming.
My first year in the classroom was an eye-opener. I would become so upset when I couldn’t get through to a child who was struggling to learn a new concept. I felt completely incapable of effective instruction. Regardless, I persisted, researching, attending trainings, and continuing to try different strategies. Slowly, I began to learn that children aren’t robots—they can’t be universally programmed to learn and function in the same way. Every child learns at a different pace and a different way. I accepted that getting through to my students required resilience—trying one method, and the next, and the next until I saw that magical sparkle in their eyes when they finally understood.
This same resilience is necessary in, not only my career, but my life. I know that, regardless of my circumstances, tough times will come. I have two choices. I can crumble and let my struggles defeat me, or I can fight. I always remind myself that, as long as I’m fighting, the battle isn’t over. I promise the sparkle is worth it.
1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade Team Teacher: Science and Social Studies
Greenville Elementary School
Teaching from May, 2015 – Present