Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hooray for Preschool Teachers!

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like had I chosen a different career. Don't misinterpret that - I love what I do. I'm a preschool teacher and the variety show that is my daily job brings me great joy.

I wipe gobs of green goop from children's faces with love. I get daily hugs and odd little compliments, but I also get spit on and sometimes kicked or hit. Life's not perfect, but it's awfully sweet to work with innocent minds that have no concept of tomorrow. Sometimes, I even get surprise back rubs from loving little hands, or my personal favorite: letting them drive cars on my back while helping other children put together train tracks.

On top of that, I get to sing often (which I'm terrible at), read often (and create interesting voices - which I'm also terrible at), paint often (also not a strength of mine), and even bake often! Not being a gifted singer, storyteller, or painter actually has it's perks: I can't get any worse so I might as well make the best of it!

There is a lot of freedom and very few rules (except, you know, don't hurt them). I love that about what I do.

I often think about how I would do in an office job, and I always arrive at the same conclusion: I would hate it. I don't like sitting in meetings, or not being able to snack all day. I like that I can wear whatever I want to work (within tasteful reason, of course), and can take my work outside for awhile. I like that I have fun during the day and most of the time it doesn't feel like "work." I'm exhausted at the end of the day, but in a good way.

I don't do well with deadlines and once turned down a really cool volunteering job in Germany because I had to keep my fingernails short (I don't keep them long, anyway, but the fact that this was a specific rule in the information packet turned me off to the possibility completely). Besides, there's no greater satisfaction than watching a child master writing his/her name for the first few times, or even speak those first few English sentences. I love their obscure pictures they present as gifts with love, and the way they unknowingly skip over numbers when learning to count to 10.

It's hard to imagine a job that's better for me than what I already do and the fact that I can do it in Norway (or anywhere else in the world, really, there are small children everywhere) is even better.

Now, the thing I need to do is challenge myself to do all this and love all this in Norwegian. I'm not brave enough to make that leap yet, but the calling is there and I think that's where I need to draw my motivation to really learn this language.

1 comment:

  1. i think this exact reason is a good reason to go all out with learning the language. i know when i was in oslo, many expats who teach had been at the int'l schools there for so many years and wanted to expand their options (i guess the more appropriate phrase is that they grew to not like the int'l schools for one reason or idea why) but could never leave those schools unless they wanted to be without a job because they did not know the language. i think the int'l schools are great and if one loves their job there, they should certainly stay, but it is nice to know that there are 'options' that can be explored if one does not or if one would like to just try something new!

    what i have heard that some of them have done is volunteer at daycares, book clubs, kid events in the area during the summer like one or two days a week to gain exposure to the language at a kid's level. i think when you and i try learning the language we sometimes want to learn it at an adult level, b/c we are adults and have a larger vocabulary (etc) rather than a kids level and we become anxious in the process and overlook some of the fundamental steps! my roommate in oslo was from hungary and she works at a barnehage full-time and knows the language so well because of it. then there is me...i can write and say the most complicated of norwegian words, but cant communicate well in a simple fashion haha! she learned norwegian a little bit prior to working in barnehage (was au pair) but it really came into its own after working in barnehage.

    i think youll do just fine at this. and the good thing is that while you want to learn the language so you have more options, you still have a job so you dont have to rush or put so much pressure on yourself to complete it by tomorrow! good luck girl...i know youll do great!!!