I started writing a post about lessons learned from teaching an art camp to preschoolers. Then I got a text that changed everything. The text said:
“S just told me she is going to be a teacher…an art teacher….and have a camp just like miss kat.”
I started crying. Of course it is important to focus on learning from your mistakes and improving at what you do. But more than anything else, I want to remember what a gift this experience was for me.
Today was my last Tuesday class. I hugged the kids goodbye as they left. I told one boy it was our last class. He replied “that’s ok. We’ll always be friends.”
Each week, I sent out notes about what we did during class, along with photos I had taken. One mother sent me a note saying something about how she was glad her kids got to come get messy at my house, because she is too nervous to do a lot of those activities at home. She said something along the lines of “I just saw the photo of the bins of water, ice, and food coloring and got nervous.” It made me so happy to be able to provide those experiences to her kids and my own, especially since I love to do it and I know it makes her uncomfortable.
Leaving today, one mom said “I’m sure going to miss these Tuesdays.” I know how precious time to yourself or with just one child can be. I got to give that gift to other mothers.
I had one boy tell me he loved me. My son told me he liked me.
I got to experience the thrill of asking a question in relation to something I taught, and hearing the children give the appropriate answer. They learned something from me!
My kids got to see me as a teacher. Not as their mother, which is also a teacher, but as someone leading a class.
Every class, the kids were so happy to show their parents what they made or what they did. The parents would ask them about how they did it or what was the best part. I facilitated that conversation.
Even during the tough times, I came away feeling good. Today, a little girl fell out of her chair. She was unharmed, but you know how kids are when they feel shaken- they want their mothers. She began crying for mommy, and mommy was not due for a half hour. I had to take care of it. I held her, and comforted her. I offered my hand and said “Let’s go read a book with the kids.” She took it, and moments later was making “dibble dop” sounds as we read “Mr. Brown Can Moo.” I’m sure I wasn’t the first person, and I won’t be the last- but I showed her that she can receive support from someone other than Mom.
It’s so easy to get lost and forget to see how much love, beauty, and fun we are surrounded by, each and every day. Writing this, I can always go back and remember- even though, I’m sure I’ll never forget.