My sister sounded anxious on the phone. “I’m going to be teaching preschoolers. I watched another teacher and she was using little songs with the kids. Can you teach me some songs? I keep thinking this would be a good job for you – maybe when you retire.”
But wait, you’re thinking, don’t you already teach preschool?
Yes, but my sister is teaching swimming lessons. And, actually, I have thought about doing this when I retire.
I love the water and taught swimming lessons before and after college. I was on the waterfront staff at Girl Scout camp where I taught swimming and water safety, canoeing and sailing.
When I graduated from college and needed to work while I got my teaching certificate, I worked at a YWCA teaching to all ages, (including the man I eventually married!)
My sister began her employment career the same way I did and returned to teaching swimming when she left computer programming.
I would love to resume this work when I retire and just hope some pool somewhere will hire a flabby, veined-leg old fogey to teach. I’ll know the songs!
My sister continued to vent her anxiety about the age of her new students. “I’ve always taught adults. Kids can smell your fear – just like horses.” Well yes, I admitted, kids do seem to know when I’m not feeling very secure in my work with them. We chatted some more and I gave her a few song ideas but she didn’t think she could keep them in her head.
She called this afternoon to update me after her first day of classes. She taught 3 sessions and felt more confident as the day progressed. “I admitted to a dad this was my first time teaching young children. I probably shouldn’t have done that. But he made me feel good when he told me how pleased he was that his son was so comfortable with me in the water. Maybe he was just doing that to make me feel better.”
Maybe so, but you know what sis, all those techniques you use to teach adults — they’ll work with kids too. Routines and baby steps, ending sessions with skills students are most sure of – the same things you do in your other lessons.
Songs? Just call me again and I’ll sing you some songs. “5 little speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log…..”