Little Red Schoolhouse

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 8 of #BTBC14
How did you end up in education?  Who or what inspired you to teach?  Share your story!

     I spent today at the Little Red Schoolhouse after my best friend invited us there for the day.  Now I am trying to think about why I entered the schoolhouse in the first place.  Summer reflection time...

     I'm not really sure why I became a teacher.  I mean, the writing was on the wall for as long as I could remember.  In a previous BTBC post, I even shared how my first class was my stuffed animals, and how I even used to draw myself as a teacher.  Yep, I was destined to be Miss Walsh (and then Mrs. O'Donnell).  But my reasons for why?  Well...  I hadn't really thought about it much.

     I had some great teachers.  Mrs. Lambesis in 2nd, Mr. Spear in 6th, Mr. Dorner for orchestra, Mrs. Paulson for Language Arts, Mr. Mocarski for Science, Mr. Hart for World History, Mr. and Mrs. Tenk for American History and Spanish 4.  Those were my favorites, I suppose, and I am sure each of them had a part in me continuing to want to be a teacher.  But I already wanted to be one when I got to their rooms. Their confidence in me, their teaching style, their assignments, and perhaps the lessons I learned with them helped re-affirm my decision.

    Oh how I loved a project!  I loved a good book report, especially one that required me to get a book report cover.  I loved to make posters and dioramas.  I made a Survival City in 6th grade that was amazing.  I am not sure why we had to build one, but it was from the the same teacher who made me protect an egg in Operation Egg Drop and had my make moldy bread for a contest.  I loved projects so much, in fact, that I actually made them longer and bigger than they probably needed to be.  I also tended to do them FOR my sister, who didn't really want to do them at all.  And, when I first got my classroom, boy was it decorated for every season and subject I taught.  If there wasn't a project that went along with it, I probably didn't teach it.  (That might be a *slight* exaggeration.)

     This makes me think about why I wanted to be a teacher.  It might be that I was "good at school."  I was a quiet, nervous kid who was very shy and cried easily.  I wasn't very athletic, so sports weren't my thing.  Reading was.  Projects were.  Looking back now, I see that I have always been afraid to fail.  Talk to me about parallel parking, and making left turns onto busy streets, or playing in any school sporting event.  I won't do it.  Afraid of failure.  Perhaps I always felt confident at school, and I just knew that's where I needed to be.

     Being "good at school" as an elementary school kid probably isn't the best reason for me to become a teacher.  It sounds a lot less impactful than "I wanted to make a difference." But, I suppose when you decide to be a teacher as young as I did, you wouldn't have a deep initial reason.  I am so glad I did decide to be a teacher.  I am also glad that I have come to realize that the teacher I dreamed of becoming isn't really the teacher I became.  It certainly isn't like teaching in that Little Red Schoolhouse, or even like in the elementary schools that I attended.  I have also since realized that it isn't about my confidence at all.  It is about making those around me feel confident in themselves.  I just always try to throw a cool project in there along the way... just for old time's sake.

***Sidenote- For the purpose of this blog, I pulled out my autobiography from 5th Grade.  Oh my goodness.  I highly suggest you take a look at your old work and laugh at yourself.  It's hilarious.


  1. I really love this statement: " ... it isn't about my confidence at all. It is about making those around me feel confident in themselves." So true.
    Your sidenote is spot on. I recently looked at my "career book" from 8th grade - a project I did about what I wanted to be when I grew up. A PE teacher? Seriously? I loved being outdoors and was a bit of a tomboy, but a PE teacher?

    1. You would have been a great PE teacher, because you are great at everything you do. Somehow I think you would have brought cycling to BSD100 in that role...

  2. The line Sue picked out is the same line that I picked out that I loved! So, so true! :-)