“Einstein was a zombie.”
“No, you are obviously thinking of Frankenstein.”
“NO. Einstein was a zombie, and I know it.”
That is the argument I overheard today in the sixth grade classroom I am doing my civic engagement in. I’m an education minor, so I have to spend a lot of time in local classrooms getting a feel for the classroom setting. This semester I’m taking the minor’s core class, Teaching for Social Justice. Basically, we learn some of the ins and outs of being a teacher, as well as methods of teaching such as John Dewey’s progressive education. This course requires us to spend a minimum of sixty hours in a local classroom this semester acting as an assistant teacher. I know it sounds like a lot of time, but I can already tell these are going to be some of the most rewarding hours of my semester.
Today was my first day in the classroom. I’m in a sixth grade classroom in Vassalboro, a pretty farm town about twenty minutes from Colby. I’m actually working with a teacher who is a family friend, and it’s so neat to be able to have her as a mentor. She has a bubbly personality that all the kids just adore. Since today was just my first day in the classroom, I mostly sat and observed the students. The best part of the day was listening to the conversations the kids had as they worked in groups. Besides the fantastic Einstein conversation I mentioned earlier, I listened to one boy explain that, “If aliens really existed, they would have already taken us over. Since they haven’t, they don’t actually exist.” Later on in science class, a boy raised his hand and asked the teacher, “Why is it called a graduated cylinder? Does it have a diploma or something?”
These quirky little conversations remind me why I want to be a teacher. You never know what is going to come out of the kids’ mouths next. Everyday is a new experience, a new opportunity to inspire a student. I’m already looking forward to next Wednesday, when I get to see those smiling faces again.