How do I know? I tried it last week with third graders. For three hours. In the local elementary school. Teaching English. Without a credential.
I was exhausted by the time I got home and my feet killed. I wanted a shower and a nap and could hardly concentrate on anything for the rest of the day. In only three hours those 8 year olds made me feel like I had competed in a triathlon. How do teachers do it? How do they answer the endless stream of questions? Get the kids to stay in their seats? Prevent the whole class from erupting in endless conversations?
I don’t even think English speaking children would make me any more effective. I simply couldn’t do that every day.
They are cute, very cute. In fact, I would love to hang out with them. At recess. But in the classroom they were all energy, questions, and “teacher, teacher!” It was a little overwhelming after the initial few minutes of me explaining why my foot was broken, that my nickname is Pelusa (fluff), and that Club América had played an awesome game of fútbol the day before. Half the little boys in the classroom enthusiastically agreed with me on that one.
And the enthusiasm continued. Little girls wanted to sing for the class then refused to once all eyes were on them. Others wanted to correct how I played “Simon Says.” Others thought I needed to check every single answer in thier workbooks as they finished them. One little boy thought a girl’s book, backpack, and eraser prize belonged to him. By the time I got to that situation her things were safely stowed underneath his backpack, under his seat.
Then when the school ran out of water I had 20 kids looking at me to solve the problem of their chocolate covered hands after we made graham cracker houses. I knew I should have brought wipies! We used paper, some resourceful kids found some water, and we got back to being on the verge of complete chaos. Granted, we were probably much farther from chaos than I thought but, for someone who loves order, it was so hard to not have them all quietly working at their desks.
Eventually the bell rang and my best intentions of filing out to the gate in a line were shot the second I opened the door. I only had three or four kids still near me by the time I got to the gate myself. Once I saw parents scooping up thier little ones, I looked for the two white kids in the school and we walked home together. After that it was a strait shot to the Via packets and a comfy chair. From now on, I will leave teaching to much more capable hands!