I’m the extremely shy girl in the front row- the one with the orange socks and green velvet dress. I didn’t overcome my shyness until about grade 10; it was only then that I found my voice.
But shyness didn’t stop me from learning. Being the 8th of 9 children, my family taught me to love learning at a very young age. Our “pre-school family curriculum” consisted of outcomes like:
- Saying the alphabet backwards before learning to say it forwards (and I still remember it well)
- The important skill of speaking Pig Latin (Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay?)
- Playing games like tag, hide-and-go-seek, checkers and go fish
- Counting money
- Listening to Dad tell the scary version of The Three Little Pigs (which got scarier with each retelling) and listening to Mom tell the story of The Little Red Hen
- Respecting your elders, including older siblings and cousins
- Being seen and not heard in the presence of adult company (although I really don’t agree with this one, it was one of our outcomes, and it did contribute to who I am today…)
The young learner evolved into the young teacher. When I was 11, my older brother and his family lived with us. Because I liked to play “teacher” even then, I asked the grade 1 teacher in our school for some “stuff” that could help me teach my nephew to read. She loaded me up with all kinds of worksheets and little books; my nephew was well on his way to reading by the time they moved out that summer.
In about grade 10, I finally realized that I had a strong aptitude for learning math. In high school, I loved teaching math concepts to my classmates who were struggling with understanding. In grade 12, I remember tutoring a cousin and a former classmate as they worked through their Math 30 correspondence courses.
Yes, I think it was my humble beginnings that inspired me to become a teacher…
Go to Growing as an Educator.