#MovingForeword 12 - 19 First Days and Counting

Written By: Gianna Ellis

It’s senior year of college and people are posting pictures on Instagram of their “last first day of classes”. I had goals of attending grad school so I knew there were more first day of classes ahead. After I graduated from The University of South Carolina, I found myself back at school. Not as a student this time, but as a teacher.

I started working at the Severn School, an independent elementary school, as a substitute teacher in the fall of 2015. I was familiar with this school because my mom works there also as a learning specialist. It is a neat opportunity working at the same facility as my mom, though there are days when we don’t see each other at school.

I quickly felt at home amongst the colorfully decorated bulletin boards, cheerful children and helpful teachers. For those of you who know me to answer your question, yes, there are fifth graders taller than me! This is now my second year and I really enjoy substituting; each day is different which keeps experiences exciting. One day I could be playing Play-Doh with pre-schoolers, or be giving a spelling test to second grade or refereeing a pillo polo game in PE.

I am constantly in awe of the children’s creativity, imagination and curiosity. These children aren’t just students in a classroom, they are my friends. My friends encourage me, challenge me and make me laugh. I look forward to coming home and sharing the stories and funny quotes from the school day with my family at the dinner table.

Even though I’m a teacher I still feel the joy and excitement of being a kid when I go on field trips, attend assemblies, dress up on Halloween and hope for the occasional snow day! At the end of the day I watch older siblings scurry down the hallway to assist their younger siblings carry their school bag and carefully walk them outside to the dismissal line. It reminds me of when I was in fourth grade; I would drop off and pick up my brother Anthony who was in kindergarten at the time. On my last birthday I held the position of a first grade teaching assistant. My mom brought in a birthday treat for my class to share, the lead teacher gave me birthday sticker and a birthday crown… the whole nine yards! All of these events are new, memorable moments, but they also remind me of past cherished memories.  

Some people are afraid of growing up. Change, moving to a different city, more responsibility it all can be nerve wracking and overwhelming. One of my wise friends in first grade once said to me, “Ms. Ellis you’re like a teacher and a kid!” She’s right! Let me reassure you being an adult isn’t as terrible as it sounds because there is still a bit of kid inside all of us.

It’s funny how moving foreword sometimes brings you back.