It could not have been a more perfect arrangement. My friend Molly had been trying to get me to work at a tutoring center called Urban Christian Academy for almost two years. However, life kept getting in the way, I found my job in Moody’s Admission’s office last spring, and I really did not have the time for it. That is, until May when she said that they desperately needed a tutor from the last week of the spring semester at Moody until CPS got out for the summer. Finally, everything seemed to work out so I could take the opportunity. My goal for this summer was to grow as a future teacher and take as many opportunities to grow as possible. (One of my biggest reasons for heading out to China to teach English). I knew going into the tutoring center that it was going to be great, but little did I know how deeply and passionately I would fall in love with working at UCA. Not only that, it was the final act that showed me that Elementary Education is where I belong. If you have read some of my previous blog posts, you would see that I struggled all through my Sophomore year at Moody trying to determine if 1). God really wanted me to go into education, and 2). Was I good enough to make it through one of Moody’s most “elite” programs. Thanks to the mentorship of one of my professors, I was able to work out the bulk of my questions and issues during the school year. However, there were still doubts lingering in the back of my mind. They went along the lines of, “Well, I technically transferred into this major and I was provisionally accepted, but am I really good enough?” (My usual overthinking and anxiety monsters voicing their thoughts). Working at UCA took all of those questions and doubts away. Meet Mr. J:
Joe was one of my adorable pre-school students, and aside from all of the teachers at UCA adoring this kid (because he is just so teeny), he gave me the final piece of affirmation I needed. It was simple really. It all started with him calling me “teacher”. His little four-year-old self could not remember that I was called Miss Alyssa so he, and most of the other kids that knew I was Miss Alyssa, ended up just calling me “teacher”. Anytime someone wanted my attention it was, “Teacher, I need help” or “Teacher, teacher! Look at…” or “Teacher, teacher, I made this for you!” Between them calling me “teacher” and loving getting to teach, read stories, and get to see the kids grow, (it was amazing how much they grew in the short month I spent with them) I fell in love. I am a future teacher. I want to teach kids how to read, how to conquer math, science, history, and spelling. I want to see them struggle and grow as learners and as people. Above all, I want to show them that Jesus loves them and is in every part of the school day. I want them to see that their teacher loves Jesus and them so, so much. I am so excited to see what God has in store for the remainder of this summer with teaching English to children and China, and this fall when I will hopefully will be returning to UCA as a tutor.
Here are some more pictures, because I think my students are awesome!
The Buddy System was a lifesaver when trying to get the kids to the park:
Ice Cream earned from the treasure box (the excitement was seriously real)
Pre-school seriously wears you out! It’s too hard to stay awake for story time on a Friday 😉
Speaking of story time, “We Are In A Book” was read over and over and over to the point that this “teacher, teacher” has it memorized…. “We are in a book! We are in a book! We are being read! We are being read!…. (Said in the voices of Gerald and Piggie of course 😉 )
Last day of UCA tutoring for the school year means ice cream! (Their faces crack me up!)
My silly kindergarten girls 🙂