Over the last year I have signed up as a substitute for a few different schools in my area. I have tried really hard to keep myself in the upper level grades such as 5/6 or 9 through 12. Last week, I stepped out of my comfort zone and I substituted for a teacher who teaches first and second grade. That was a very eye-opening experience for me and trying to follow sub notes to help 13 children with sometimes different tasks only makes me appreciate teachers more. I do the best I can with sub plans, but I don't know how these teachers manage to teach their students and do the things that they do in such organized and caring ways. I looked at the work these students are doing and I felt gratitude anew for the teachers in my life that have brought me to this point. I am now a college graduate and I was able to do so because each and every teacher I've ever had has encouraged me to succeed and has worked with me to do better. There are some really amazing teachers out there and I'm grateful for every single one of them. I am sure I will continue to substitute and will continue to get put into classes and age groups that do not feel inherently comfortable to me. I will hopefully grow to not only feel more comfortable with teaching younger children, but to continue to feel thankful for the good teachers out there who care for and work so hard to help those children grow academically. I'm lucky to have these opportunities.

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