If I had to summarize my work as Grade 1 Teaching Aide at GIS from 2006 to 2007, I’d have to say it was a tremendous learning experience. I started out feeling very humbled with filing tasks and the monitoring of kids during recess, but now that the year is drawing to a close (school ends with a half day on June 6), I can honestly look back at the school year and say it was an eye opener for me. I am so grateful to have been helping Mrs. Natelle Austin. She’s been teaching for 20+ years and it’s surely reflected in her classroom management and teaching expertise. From her, I’ve learned how to handle kids who can’t keep their hands to themselves, who blurt out all the answers, who steal, and even those who literally have ‘accidents’ pertaining to the not-making-it-to-the-toilet-in-time kind. On top of that, it was a pleasure to watch her encourage her students and draw out the best in them. Last year the students came not knowing how to read or even identify some of the letters in the alphabet. Next school year, they will all move on to Grade 2 as readers and writers and it truly is a joy to know that we’ve been a part of their learning process. I’m grateful to have been helping in Mrs. Austin’s class. To the onlookers, it might have simply looked like I was assisting her. In reality, she also taught me valuable lessons in being an effective teacher. I am truly indebted. Thanks, Mrs. Austin!