Teaching Primary Children

A lot of time has passed since I sent in a blog.

For those of you who are not teachers, I am in an LTO, or a Long-term occasional position at an elementary school. The woman I am replacing has gone on a maternity leave. Good news for both her and me since I am guaranteed a full-time job until the end of June.

I have spent the last two weeks preparing for my stay in her room which consists of grade 1 and 2 students. Regardless of what some cynics say about teachers, we do have a lot of work. I have been going in at just after 8:00 and coming home most nights between 4:30 and 5:00.

But, so far, I’m loving it. Plus, I am an older teacher, so don’t let my optimism convince you that I’m a rookie, feeling that nothing can go wrong. Grade 1 and 2 students, for the most part, put you in a good mood even on the dreariest of days.

Teacher with Students

They greeted me well and wrote me introductory letters as to what they like, what they are good at, and what they are curious about. Their teacher thought this would be a good way of providing me with information about them. I decided to write out my own letter. I said I was curious about the Muslim culture and, knowing that some of them are Muslim, wanted them to teach me.

One adorable grade 1 girl approached me later and said, “Mr. Coates, I am one of your Muslim students.”

Teaching is an incredible gift. We are trusted by those parents who rely on us to make their children happy, comfortable in the classroom, and excited about learning. And, of course, on days when their children are going through some tough stuff, to be supportive and caring.

The job is demanding both physically and mentally. And I love it!

As a side note, one of the parents was asking about the children’s book I wrote, More Precious Than Rubies: The Return of the Norse Gods. She had seen a local paper’s write-up about the book a year ago. Her son attends one of the classes in the school and he has talked about the book. I gave them a copy.

Yes, there are other benefits about being a teacher.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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