PreK-1st Intern Julie: Summer Wrap-Up

Today's featured blogger is our PreK-1st intern, Julie Pritchett. Julie will begin her senior year at Harding University in the fall. 

Julie with (left to right) London, Harmony, Delaney, A'Tynei,
Ivy, Kaliasi, and Emily
I began my internship unsure of what was in store for me, but was excited to see the smiling faces of the kids long before I even started. I had it all planned out in my head of how my knowledge and experience would be such a blessing to these kids.  Being an education major, I wanted to teach these kids so much.  I just knew that I would implement new strategies and make all my kids perfect readers, writers, and manage my classroom's behavior like a pro.  I came into the summer wanting to make them learn, but I’m now walking away having learned much more from them. I have learned that curriculum doesn’t always go as planned, like during health week when we tried to teach them exercise moves. When things do go well, seeing the kids’ enjoyment makes the stressful moments seem not so bad.  They have taught me patience for the times when I have 12 kids needing help on different learning pages.  Most importantly the kids showed me that family extends farther than your mom, dad or siblings.  The community fostered at Fortress is such a neat thing to witness and I have been blessed to be apart of it for the summer.

Not only have the kids taught me, but Shanique and Jeli, my co-teachers and mentors, have also taught me so much.  I didn’t have a clue how to handle 30 children when I walked in on that first day, but they have very patiently broken me into the amazing chaos of managing that many children at once.  You haven’t experienced anything until you load up and take 33 three through seven year-olds to the Fort Worth Zoo.  

I thought I knew everything there was to know about kids, having been around little ones for a majority of my life.  But each and every one of my kids is unique, and all of them have a place in my heart, even the ones who have to be put in time-out often.  All the kids are special in there own way and I love telling them that.  I am leaving Fortress missing the children I have grown to love this summer as well as the co-workers and interns. The Preschool Summer Jam Program has taught me so much, and I see the potential in all the kids through Fortress. I hope to visit and see all their smiling faces soon.