Tonight had to be one of my favorite opportunities I’ve been able to do while studying abroad. We had the chance to sign up for “Library” which meant we were assigned a date to go read an English book to elementary Italian students. There were six of us who went tonight and we had 30 kids show up which was the most any group has had! Our assigned story was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We had pictures to show them to help learn the vocabulary in the book (table, chair, forest, door…etc) and phrases to put motions too. After we did the activities and read the story twice, we gave them paper and markers to color an interpretation of the story. I read the story to them and had so much fun exaggerating, doing motions with them and getting them actively involved. Ali pretended to be Goldilocks and Caleb rocked his Papa bear voice.
All I can say is that I have never felt more in my element. I don’t mean that in a prideful way at all, but I just loved every second of library and loved making the kids laugh. For one whole hour I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t worrying about my weight. I wasn’t worrying about people’s opinion of me. And I wasn’t worried about the future. I was acting goofy, reading as loud as I could, and doing silly motions to help kids remember the English words for hungry, bed, and forest. I didn’t think about my fear of public speaking because I was in front of 30 innocent, excited children. While they colored pictures, I went to every group and tried to communicate with them. I said “molto bene” and “bella” about every picture because those are the only words I knew to use to describe their work. I taught them colors and animals in English and they taught me them back in Italian. They told me their names, and asked for mine. We laughed when we couldn’t understand each other and hugged goodbye like we’d known each other all along.
All I can say is that I am really excited to be a teacher. I’m often flooded with doubts about not being an effective teacher or regretting taking on the task of teaching America’s future. But then, I have moments like these with children, where I feel confident, happy, and fulfilled. And I know I’m in the right field of study and that I am going to make it through the next two years of college, even if it almost kills me.