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Step in Your Teachers’ Shoes

I have never thought about the struggles teachers go through on a daily basis or how much work they truly put into teaching.  As a child, teachers seem to come in, teach you, go home, and from there. We assume they enjoy their evenings and vacations. However, after this study abroad trip, I have seen the hard work and impact teachers actually have.  There is no downtime as a teacher, even during the summers. There are lesson plans to make and strategies to form for teaching kids. Each student has different learning curves, and an educator has to be prepared for any struggles a child may have.  Teaching, especially in younger classrooms, also requires multiple skills. Any aged student gets distracted easily, and this is especially true for elementary school and middle school levels. An educator has to struggle every day with keeping the attention on them.  My group was given the task of teaching k-7th grade students. We had to come up with our own lesson plans and utilize these plans in the classroom. Our biggest struggle throughout the week was keeping the kids interested long enough for them to absorb information. This included having fun activities, increasing classroom engagement with questions and games, and being funny, when appropriate, during the lessons.  Without these strategies, the kids would quickly turn to whatever was more interesting in the room. Luckily, my team was entertaining enough to keep their eyes on us, and our students seemed to have learned a lot. They all seemed to enjoy class time and didn’t mind sitting through it once we learned how to grab their attention. I have more respect for the education career after going on this study abroad trip, and it is evident how hard teaching actually is.  While I don’t think I will be going into this profession anytime soon, I bow down to those that have the patience and love for this career path.