For me, loving kids is as natural as breathing. They are a child, therefore I care about them, and want them to be happy.
During my student teaching, we were discussing a child who was struggling, and I said something like, "He's a good kid, he's just has a hard time sitting."
One of the other teachers, who's been in education forever, looked at me and said, "You think that every kid's a good kid."
As I thought about it, I realized that, Yes, I do think that every kid is a good kid. I think most adults are really good people too. It takes a lot for me to decide to avoid someone, and even then, I usually still like them, I just don't like being around them. Getting along with people can take some effort, but it is always doable.
A couple of weeks ago, I was released from my calling as the 2nd councilor in the primary. That was pretty difficult and I cried a bit. However, the last couple of weeks my husband and I have been substituting in primary (the children's classes at church), so I've still been able to be around the children.
After teaching, Grig and I were talking about having patience with different kinds of children while teaching. Grig is a great man, and we don't always see eye-to-eye, though we communicate really well. That makes our marriage interesting and I am often challenged to look at things in a different way. We have a lot in common, but like everyone else we had different backgrounds and we are different people.
I love it, it's great!
Grig has never been a teacher, and as we were talking I had the opportunity to teach him something that I learned in college while I was studying to be an elementary teacher.
Keep in mind that I went to Brigham Young University-Idaho for college. Some of the advice we received as perspective teachers is going to differ a bit from other people's college professors' advice.
One of the most important things that my teachers taught me was to pray for my students by name. I was promised that as I did this, I would grow to love my students and I would receive inspiration that would help me teach them on an individual basis in the way that would be best for each of them.
I have since come to learn that this is true. As I have worked in primary and I prayed for children that were struggling, I really grew to love each and every one of them.
Sometimes, I could still be frustrated by some children's antics, but I cared enough about them to seek Heavenly Father's counsel and try again.
When you work and come to love other people, it makes leaving them very difficult. I am super excited about our impending move, but I am also very sad to leave our friends, ward members, and neighbors that we have come to know and love.
We're not moving very far away, but I am not very good at keeping in contact with other people.
I will miss them, but they will stay in my prayers. I know that Heavenly Father will be watching out for each and every one of them.
If you're struggling with students or other children, pray for them by name, and I know you will come to love and care for them deeply. You may even learn what you can do to help them with whatever they may be struggling with.
I testify that this is true, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.