Home Clarice Ellinger: Rediscovering my inner child

Clarice Ellinger: Rediscovering my inner child


clariceIf you have a hard time coloring inside the lines and find it fun to sit around loud children all day, teaching is the job for you.

Almost two years ago, I volunteered at my church to teach in the preschool classroom. Let me just say, dealing with 3- and 4-year-olds every week isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes there are kids crying and fighting and constantly talking when you need them to be quiet, and you have to be able to find patience somewhere deep down inside of yourself.

Although things can be chaotic and crazy when dealing with young children, a rewarding experience can be found out of it all. When I first began teaching, I didn’t always know how to handle things or keep myself from getting frustrated, and to be honest I missed being around people my own age.

Things were tough. Kids didn’t always like me, or the rules for that matter, but what could I do? I was the adult, and there had to be rules.

It didn’t take me too long to realize that these kids, they weren’t so different from us adults, either. They liked being able to live their own lives, with no rules, without having to listen. They liked all of these ideas because they aspire to be us, and the people that we became when we grew up.

Being able to teach and be around these kids has such an impact on my life. I have found that we should aspire to find the child inside of us, instead of always letting the adult take over.

I never understood how much there was to life when I was a child. I was only a child then, so I may not have understood then, but I can now. When you are surrounded by kids, you learn how to retain some of your own childhood through learning the qualities children have, that we shouldn’t have lost when we grew up.

Every week stepping into that preschool classroom, you could see the joy in every child’s smile, the smile that cannot be erased and that smile is impossible to take away from these kids, as it should be. Kids have an amazing sense of being able to recognize the world as something beautiful and can find fulfillment in exploring the deeps that the world has to offer. They see the sun shining, and they can hear the songs that birds sing and they add their laughter and love into that golden world.

Their world, from what I have viewed, is something that hasn’t been touched by negativity, crime, or the rest of the problems that fill the world we look into. Teaching these kids every week has shown me how to live a life full of joy and happiness again.

Being around children, or just talking to a child, is not only leaving an impact on their life, but it leaves one on our own as well.

Clarice Ellinger is a senior at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville. She is interning with Augusta Free Press.



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