I don’t remember a ton from second grade. I remember I had tights with little pink hearts on them that I loved and begged to wear every day. I remember I thought my teacher had a crush on the art teacher. I remember that my mom told my sister and I that she was having another baby.
It’s these memories (and the fact that I do have memories from the second grade) that come to mind on Tuesday mornings as I pull into the parking lot of a local elementary school to serve as a Junior Achievement (JA) volunteer. For five weeks a year, I get to play teacher as I talk to second graders about their community.
If you don’t know, JA is a nonprofit organization that invites volunteers into K-12 classrooms to talk about various topics including government, entrepreneurship and more.
Although my school didn’t have JA, I do remember that any adult who comes into the classroom, who isn’t the teacher, is automatically cool. I try to use that knowledge to my advantage as I teach the students about the different jobs available in the community, a little bit about how our government works and more.
Instead of heading into the classroom this week on Tuesday morning, I attended my third Starmaker’s breakfast, which is an annual fundraising event for JA and the way I found out about this awesome organization in the first place.
I am fortunate enough to work for a company that highly values giving back to our community and therefore allows me to take time away from the office to participate in JA.
And while I hope the students are getting something out of our conversations I have to admit that I get so much out of teaching that I can’t imagine not doing it. Here are five reasons second graders rule:
- Last week one student gave me a drawing of a Christmas tree, which inspired five other students to also give me holiday-inspired drawings, which are decorating my office now.
- I’m guaranteed a hug every time I walk into the classroom.
- The things they say can honestly keep me laughing all day long.
- Kids are easy to please. Give them each a sticker or a piece of candy and you’d think they won the lottery.
- No matter if they’ve thought about it before, each and every one of the students tells me they want to be a writer when they grow up, because I’m a writer. Talk about making you feel like a rock star!