The Children Have Been Teaching Me – Kayla Bentz – Medium

The Children Have Been Teaching Me

I’ll just preface this post with: This is probably all over the place I apologize for it now.

I’m volunteering at a summer camp in upstate New York working with a wide age range of kids starting from kindergarten up to eighth grade. It is mainly a STEM camp, which I’m 10,000% for. (Can you tell I’m a science nerd at heart?!) The first week of camp I was placed into a Chemistry class for middle schoolers, we truly had a blast. We did a plethora of experiments like, making a flame throwers, working with dry ice, blowing things up, and bending glass. We even made that elephant toothpaste that circled around Facebook for a short time period. I throughly enjoy spending my morning with those children. I was absolutely blown away at how much these kids knew. Growing up in Florida I thought I was smart for my age, and sometimes I even felt that I knew more than others. As I compare what I knew at these’s kids age, I feel as if I knew nothing. What these children already knew at the age of 11 and up I learned in University Chemistry. Im sure these kids are ahead for their age but it just really made me feel like Florida is way behind in the education world. I went to a medical magnet middle school and I was never given a chemistry class until ninth grade. There was a gifted part of that middle school, that I wasn’t in so maybe they got a chemistry class, but to be honest I’m slightly jealous of what these children already know.

Today, I was put into a room of first graders, at first they were quite but you could tell they were feeling me out and I was doing the same. After about a solid five to seven minutes they started breaking out of their shells and from then on it was none stop chatter. They started telling about what they like to learn about and one girl said she like learning about solar power and environmental (in my words) influences. SAY WHAT!! In first grade I knew absolutely nothing about solar power and the only environmental influences I knew about was pollution. Maybe these children know more because we have made advances in the world, but then I look back to a family friend in Florida who I spent a lot of time with. When their son was in first grade, he was learning what I learned in first grade; addition, subtraction, forming sentences, reading and absolutely nothing about science. Now that I think about it I don’t think I really learned any science until third maybe more like fourth grade.

I guess I never imagined that the world could be so far part in teaching. I grew up in Florida my entire learning career, until I this fall for Physical Therapy school in New York. I feel as if I was cheated in education, and what I could of known. I know their are different standards for each state but Common Core was suppose to make it to where states were more closely related in what the children were learning in each grade. From my perspective Florida and New York couldn’t be further apart in education.

Part of me really wants to have a chance to teach these children, but the State of New York requires you to have a Masters to teach. I sadly only have a Bachelors and it isn’t in teaching and very soon I’m going back to school to pursue my passion of Physical Therapy. I want to do so many things with my life but I feel as though I don’t have enough time. I have a very supportive family and boyfriend but I also want to get on with an adult life with a steady job, a husband, children, and my forever home. I don’t want to be in school forever. I guess what I’m really hoping for, is that the teaching passion I have is expressed once I’m working in Physical Therapy; teaching patients how to better move and work with their body. If it’s not, I might really have to looking into getting my Masters to teach.

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