Last night I did make it to the Summer Camp Volunteer meeting. I was very late, but was able to sit down and get some of the information needed and figured out what was expected of me.
As I sat down looking at schedules, themes, and ideas for the week, I felt like I was back in my element. You see, in my former life, I was a teacher. I taught 4th grade (all subjects) for 4 years, and then I became a Middle School Reading Specialist and I worked with students 6th-8th grade. I dedicated 110% of my life to my job (before kids). My husband and I were both in grad school and were fairly busy so I could devote a ton of time to my job. I loved the routine of teaching. Set routines and lessons, with the flexibility to change it up to fit the needs of my kids. I loved introducing them to something new and seeing it added to their schema and expanding their knowledge. However, I did it for 8 years and burnt myself out. I joined the leadership team at school and then attended meeting after meeting and didn't get to spend as much time doing what I loved and that was being with the kids. Even though one perk to being on leadership was that I got to develop school-wide programs that benefitted the kids and that was pretty cool!
I realize that since I'm home with my kids that I could create neat thematic units to teach at home that incorporate all of the subject areas, I'm still pretty burnt out from teaching a full schedule. So I haven't done it with my own kids yet. But at the same time, I feel like I'm always teaching because I teach them new vocabulary the every day (like last week I taught my 4 year old the word "parameters"), simple math (the kids are 4 and 20 mos), history, and science. I encourage questions and do my best to answer them. So I teach them, it's just not formally.
Anyway, as I sat with the outlines for preschool summer camp, my mind started racing with ideas for guided questions, visuals, hands-on activities, and text to accompany it. I started to get excited and began writing down ideas to start working on this week. Last year I helped the preschool kids with art activities that supported the lessons. This year I will be a preschool teacher. I'm really excited but a little nervous. To be honest, I do better with older kids. But I'm looking forward to working with the little ones. It will take a different type of teaching style, but I think I can make it work. This year the camp is "traveling" to Ireland! How cool! I can't wait to share this pilgrimage with the little ones :)