My name is Rebecca Frostad, and I am a 36-year-old married mother of one precocious near-2-year-old. I just immigrated to Canada, where my husband is from, and we have settled in the expansive prairies. I have been teaching with Qkids for a year and a half, and it has been an exciting and growing experience.
As American Thanksgiving fast approaches-- I say “American” because there is also a Canadian Thanksgiving, which is celebrated toward the beginning of October-- I find myself reminded that there is SO MUCH to give thanks for. It would be easy to compile a list of wonderful things that elicit our gratitude-- things like family and friends, a fun job, and the arrival of Disney +, to name a few-- but I feel challenged this year to focus on being thankful for things that are also difficult. We don't always have the ability to step back and see challenges as opportunities or things to be grateful for, so I hope this list will help you see things in a different light, just as compiling it has helped me to do so.Without further ado, here is a list of five personally challenging things about (or related to) teaching with Qkids that I'm thankful for:
Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that I am NOT a morning person. Even now, after a year and a half with Qkids, I STILL stay up too late for my health more often than not (I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep as I write this). Because of that, I find it hard to be happy about getting up at 4 am... but then I have a great group of students, and it is such a blessing. I'm also grateful that my fantastic husband can usually help with our daughter so that I can get some extra sleep afterward.
It can be super rough to go from teaching a phonics lesson to teaching an L-series Level 5, but it has further pushed me to pay close attention to the kiddos that I'm teaching and their abilities. That L5 student won't be thrilled if I'm teaching them the same way as a child learning the alphabet, and the PL1 student won't be able to keep up if I'm talking the way I would to someone with much higher English ability. It also reminds me of what I am grateful for with teaching each one: that L5 will be refreshing because I can be more conversational, while the PL1 will be refreshing because they will likely be more entertained and willing to try something new.
Since we know how to deal with them as adults, we sometimes forget that kids have to learn how to deal with their emotions. Imagine being so upset about something and not knowing how to calm down. Kids in our classes might be going through that stage right now, and by tossing them some grace, we help diffuse the situation and take some of the stress out of it. I'm grateful for them because they, in turn, help me learn how to help my own little with her emotions.
Before I had my daughter, my only source of kids' shows came in the form of honorary nieces and nephews. Now, I have in-depth knowledge of Paw Patrol, The Wiggles, Bubble Guppies, Peppa Pig, and more. Yes, it means that I know Wiggles music better than I know Adele (I'm SOOOO out of touch with current music), but it also means that I can talk kids shows and characters with my Qkiddos. I'm thankful to have another means of connecting with them!
If you haven't taught phonics, it can be one of the most difficult concepts to teach. It's made additionally difficult with the fact that some letter combinations can be pronounced multiple ways, or different combinations can sound the same (like ph and f, or the o sound in sow, hoe, and no). Some of the concepts take most of the lesson to grasp, but it's so rewarding to see when a child finally gets it. And then there is the repetition. Each lesson focuses on three words, covering them again and again over the course of a half-hour, and phonics teachers might teach one lesson several times in a week (I've taught the Letter T lesson NINE TIMES IN A WEEK). I'm one of those people that actually like repetition, so doing some of the same lessons multiple times a week can be nice because then I can get a really good handle on the lesson. It also is helping me teach my own little how to speak English better. I'm sure she will have a good grasp of s-s-s-snake, t-t-t-tiger, and all of the rest of the words.
What do you find challenging when it comes to classes/teaching, and how can you find something to be grateful for in that? I hope you found this list encouraging, and may you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, full of family, friends, turkey, and happiness!
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