Change: A Warm, Cozy Blanket
There’s a strong sense of comfort in having a routine. It’s almost like being wrapped in a warm cozy blanket. I wake up at the exact same time every day, (5:00, just in case you're wondering). I brush my teeth, take a shower and do all that other morning business at the same time, in the same order. And I eat the exact same breakfast (toast with banana, crunchy peanut butter and cinnamon). I have perfected the art of moving from one task to the next with extreme precision. It’s almost like watching a choreographed dance. As I swiftly move from toothbrushing to eating, I wrap myself in a cozy blanket of routine.
Although I could live my entire life this way, I know change is the only way I can grow. So I’ve picked a part of my life to challenge myself, to step outside of my comfort zone. That place is in the classroom. Every few years, I switch grades and try a new teaching position. ESL, fourth grade, second grade, design – I’ve taught them all. Each classroom is a little different, but they are all filled with an exhilarating energy. Watching students learn, actually seeing those light bulbs go off when they solve a math problem or find the perfect piece of evidence to support their claim fills my heart with joy.
People often ask how teaching eighth grade is different from teaching second. My answer is that eighth graders are usually taller. I get that may not be the only difference, but students across grade levels are more similar than you might expect. They want their voices heard, they want to feel valued and they want to be a part of the classroom community. As a teacher, I am lucky to help children of all ages to feel empowered and build relationships across the school community. And because I’ve taught so many grade levels, I’ve been able to build relationships with students of all ages. At KIS, I am able to embrace change because of the relationships I’ve built with students. The smiling faces in the hallway that call out, “Hi Ms. Brohm!” are my warm cozy blanket. And for that, I couldn’t be more grateful.
By Denise Brohm, fifth grade teacher