Emily's First Year of Teaching: A Retrospect
I was recently able to catch up with our first grade teacher, Mrs. Emily Klick, before the first day of school to discuss her first year of teaching after college. God has richly blessed St. John Lutheran Church and School with caring, gifted educators and staff, like Emily. I hope you'll read on to learn about what Emily had to say about this past year, and what she looks forward to in the coming one.
Which school did you graduate from, and when? What did you study?
I graduated from Concordia Chicago in May 2017. I studied Elementary Education.
What did you most enjoy learning about in your program of study and in student teaching?
I enjoyed learning how to teach Reading and Math as well as how to create an effective classroom learning environment. In student teaching, I learned these things as well as some great organizational tips.
Why did you want to attend a Concordia university? Why are you a called teacher in the LCMS? What does this mean for you, for our synod, and for our church/school?
I wanted to attend Concordia University for their education program as well as getting certified to teach in a Lutheran school to share with my students the love of Christ. I'm a called teacher because I believe in Jesus Christ and I wanted the opportunity to tell others about Him and his love for us.
Were you unsure about anything when accepting your first call? (new place, new school, managing a classroom, etc.)
A new place, for sure, since I was moving away from home and didn't know anyone at my new school, on top of being a first year teacher, was very nerve-wracking. However, I knew it was all a part of God's plan and it really all worked out.
What have you enjoyed most about St. John? What did you enjoy most about your first first grade class?
I have enjoyed getting to know the other teachers and building relationships with them and the parents and the children in my class. I enjoyed everything about my first group of first graders. Even through the ups and downs, I wouldn't have changed anything. They were a GREAT group of kids and I have learned so much from them. We laughed, sang, danced, and learned together and it was an amazing experience. I will miss them so much but I know they will rock it in 2nd grade.
What have you learned after your first year of teaching?
I have learned A LOT. I have learned how to manage time, what works and what doesn't work in the classroom, that it's ok to try new things and also that it's ok if it does or doesn't work, and how to manage things outside the classroom, like field trips, Christmas programs, etc. It was a HUGE learning experience, but I know I will continue to learn and grow every year.
How are you able to share Jesus' love and the Gospel with your students in first grade?
One way I share Jesus' love and the Gospel is through religion class. I also do this through my actions by treating everyone with respect and love. We also discuss how God would want us to treat others.
What are you looking forward to most in your next year of teaching?
Trying new things and getting to know another group of students.
Do you have any thoughts or advice for others who might want to pursue a career as a Christian educator?
Don't give up. It may take a lot of work and stress, but it is all worth it in the end. And not many careers have the wonderful opportunity of sharing the Good News of Jesus, so we play a really important part in sharing that with our students.