Monday, November 9, 2009

Discovering the World of Children

My first experience involving young children (which was inadvertently also my first experience with storytime) was in middle school.

As part of a seventh or eighth grade honors English "career mentorship" project, I was paired with then Vindicator columnist Jane Tims. While I wasn't necessarily considering a career in journalism, Jane provided experiences based on a love of writing and reading. For example, I was able to attend a Scribblers meeting and share my poetry. I was able to write her emails sharing my teenage thoughts and feelings. I even accompanied her on a visit to a Youngstown city school where she volunteered her time to read them a story ...

After the story, Jane stayed a while longer to help the children (and thus the teacher!) with their school work. While I didn't then know the best words or all of the appropriate reactions to use when interacting with children, I remember feeling good about being there. The children amazed me ... their tangible emotions whether energized and exuberant or contemplative and reserved ... awed me. It was a satisfying and a surprising journey of self-discovery to guide them as they worked through questions. I remember talking about this experience when I got home ...

Isn't it strange how this (until now, forgotten) experience fits as piece into the puzzle of now?

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