Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Teaching

So in my past life I was a middle school teacher.  I loved my job.  I often miss the hilarious antics of my classroom.  Someday I might return to teaching. Maybe.

But for now I am realizing that I am still a teacher.  I have a toddler who is my only student (at the moment) and I am teaching her everything she possibly needs to know for life.  Things I take for granted knowing.  Things like guests get first dibs on toys when they come to our house.  Or that pulling on people's shirts while trying to get in their face is often an invasion of space.  I am teaching her (a bit unsuccessfully at the moment) that we don't interrupt when adults are in conversation and that we wait to begin eating until everyone is seated and we've thanked God for our food.  Stickers are not for walls.  Trash goes in a garbage can.  We must eat what is on our plate rather than demanding a bite from everyone else's plate.  Chips are for dipping once- not using as a salsa spoon (be warned if you eat Mexican with Lakin that she's a tried and true double-dipper).

With potty training I am teaching her how to determine when it's time to go potty, when to wipe, how much toilet paper is appropriate to use, and how to flush the toilet after the deed is done.  We discuss the proper way to wash our hands- and there is one, friends, and it does not involve splashing the soapy water at the bottom of the sink with our hands.

We're learning that words and tone can be hurtful.  That we need to make right our wrongs.  That how we ask for things makes all the difference and is an indication of what's going on in our own hearts (I am being reminded of this as I ask through clenched teeth for Lakin to comply to my own requests).

We are learning to remove our shoes in the house, that jumping on the couch at home is fine but is not respectful when the couch is at someone else's house.  That words are more powerful than whines.

Everything I am teaching Lakin was taught to me at some point or another.  You forget all the learning that you had to do to become the person you are today.

So while my student is a bit smaller than my middle schoolers, I still spend my day teaching and modeling.  My home is a classroom and we're always in session.  Most of the time it's fun.  But some days I long for a little spring break.

A Potty update for those of you who are interested and heck, even those who are not:  Lakin has now successfully used the potty 3 times.  She's peed on the carpet 3 times.  She's went through two pairs of Dora underwear in less than 30 minutes.  And she has consumed a gallon of apple juice diluted in the last 48 hours.  We are very much in the trenches of potty training.  Pray for us if you get a chance.

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