Two weeks ago I started working a new job… a job I know is way bigger than what it appears to be.
I am a Teachers Aide in charge of 19 amazing 2nd graders in a small town in upstate NY.
So much has changed in my life over the past year that it is almost dizzying. This job fell into my lap and originally was a way for me to begin contributing more to my family income. I wasn’t sure how it would play out. I have 2 kids myself, but I thought a lot about what I would be able to bring to the table, how I could help, how I could aid the teacher, and aid the children that I see now on a very regular basis.
At my core, I’d like to think that I am a teacher. I teach when I coach, and I learn. I teach when I write, and I learn about what happens in my life. I take my own lessons and flip them around for others, for myself as well – to understand from another perspective – what is going on around me.
Have you ever had a dream about being back in school?
It’s interesting… many dream experts will tell you that dreams about school are really dreams about how we learn in our lives. School is a place for learning… and if you are awake enough you will see that you are ALWAYS LEARNING.
Earth is our school. These lives are our classrooms and our relationships, no matter how big or how small are our classmates and teachers.
I find it more than ironic that my life has brought me to this place. I am back in school, learning about grammar, about proper spelling, about time, money and about self respect and discipline. It’s fascinating to me to see these little children… to see how eager they are, to see what their teachers offer them in the form of lessons, structure, and especially kindness and friendship.
I may have a height advantage over them, but at the same time, I’m learning as much as they are.
Our lives are our classroom. All the greats will tell you that. We are always learning. Until the day we die we will be able to take a new lesson to bed with us, every night… chew on it and realize that there is always so much to learn.
Just the other day, I was sitting with my scissors cutting out little clocks for my class – listening to the teacher talk about antonyms and synonyms.
I’d love to say I’m a writer, but this was a lesson I had long forgotten!
I’m thrilled with where my life has taken me, the job that I have stumbled into and the perspective it is giving me.
Many would look at this new career and nod at the work being done, many are doing it and not even realizing what else is going on. I am back in school. Literally. I am surrounded by lessons, by eager minds, by teachers of all ages. Just because I’m engulfed in little minds with 7 years of experience doesn’t mean I’m not learning from them as well.
This work has taught me about kindness and also about humility. I see how hard these children try, I see their innocence, and I see how much goes into their little minds. I wonder if we all realize this… do we see how profound our impact is on their future?
Do we see what we can do, what we can really teach?
What we can learn from THEM?
So I stay humble. I talk to them like my peers. I respect them and I tell them. I listen when they talk, I respect their frustrations and I celebrate in their joy. I see how far kindness goes with these children. I feel blessed that my days are spent learning along side them.
Today I read a quote by Eckhart Tolle that inspired me to write about my experience over the past few weeks.
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
I am learning. I am part of teaching. I am here learning the basics again and I’m doing it with a fresh new mind. I am grateful. My heart is open and I’m full of appreciation for the spirits I’m surrounded by.
If we approach our days eager to learn, knowing that we are all students, that we are all teachers, the world will show us a beautiful classroom.
Let the lessons begin!