I have so many things floating around in my mind about my job this summer.
I am working at a Christian daycare center. Technically, it’s a school but during the summer its obviously more relaxed than school. I still have to write lesson plans and make sure that the kids are receiving some kind of educational content so that they don’t forget it all when school starts again in the fall.
I’m torn right down the middle about this job. Do I love it or do I hate it? Am I effective or entirely ineffective with the kids? Am I against daycare entirely or is there some good things about it? If I am against it, should I continue to support it by working in that environment? Do my kids know Christ or do I need to start at base 1?
….All these questions are floating around in my mind and it seems like everyday at work provides a different answer. On Monday the answer was yes, I am making a difference. Yesterday the answer was no…if they saw anything of Christ in me I threw it right out the window when I opened my mouth and yelled at them (but at least they finally got quiet!).
I have a class of 18 children…all of them except one have just graduated from Kindergarten and are headed for the big, wide world of first grade! My job is to keep them safe, active and engaged from 1:00 pm-6:00 pm. Some days are better than others, as anyone who works in the child care setting would know. When working with one child, it may be easier to predict what days might be good and what days might be bad. But when there are 18, it is hard to predict, and one child’s mood and misbehaviour can carry the whole class in that same direction. I think that this job is a huge learning curve for me. Sure, I am training to become a teacher and have spent a lot of time already in the classroom. But it has never been MY classroom with MY unique set of children.
When I worked at camp, the greatest problem with the kids was their attitude. Everything was an attitude. They were almost all from very poor backgrounds and were taught that they could make it through with a little bit of attitude. Now, I am working with children whose parents are wealthy enough to send them to daycare for the summer (and in this economy, that is not a majority!). It’s just a whole different ballpark even though its the same age!
Some of ‘my’ children are there from 6:30 am until 6:00 pm. I just can’t wrap my head around it. It is not too hard for me to understand why some of them lose it around 4:00. Around 4:00 is my breakdown hour: I have tears, tantrums, fights, and disrespect all because the poor kids just want to get out of there! I try to keep things fun, but by then my energy is also running low and sometimes I feel that my resources (space, materials and extra eyes!) are limited. If you have any ideas of fun games, crafts, or devotions….please let me know! Hopefully I will be able to continue updating this blog with activities and fun things that we are able to do in the class. And if you think of it, please pray for me and ‘my’ children. Pray that I will have patience, and that in my weaknesses God will be displayed. Pray that if the kids do not yet know Christ, that they would grow to an understanding of him through our daily devotions and possibly even my actions! Pray that the kids would have perseverance to get through the long days, and that they would respect me even when they really don’t want to.
If you have any ideas go ahead and e-mail them over to firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to use anything you got!