Let me tell you about my job, and how I am really starting to see that I have the best job in the world.
Last summer, I got married and then went on the most wonderful honeymoon. EVER. Seriously. We arrived back from our honeymoon at 4 am, and I began work the next morning. When I walked in, the morning teacher said “They are all yours” and left since her shift was over. I did not know a single name. I did not know how many kids I would have,or what to do for the afternoon. I didn’t know where anything in the building was, since I had missed orientation (it was the same day as my wedding…you would have missed it, too!) I did my best, but I really started off on the wrong foot. If you are a teacher, you know that starting off on the wrong foot is a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad start. I had no chance to sit down with the kids and tell them what I expected of them and set up a classroom management system. Big mistake there. I had some real troublemakers in my class. Kids who wouldn’t have been well behaved even if I had set up a classroom management system, let alone when I was so disorganized from the get-go. I was in the basement of the school every day and I felt so, so bad for the kids. Some parents drop them off at 6:30 am and don’t pick them up until 6 pm. It broke my heart, and I hated the whole system of daycare.
The whole summer it was like I just couldn’t get my feet under me.
I was a little bit reluctant to apply for the same job again this summer…but with payments for student loans approaching quickly, I knew that I needed to find a job. When I called my old workplace, they offered me a morning position with one of my favorite age groups (just graduated from Kindergarten). I thought that was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I went to orientation. I got my class list early, was able to pray for my kids before they walked in the door, was able to decorate my classroom and search Pinterest for some great ideas. I set up a classroom management system. And I was there a little bit early on the first day, prepared to meet my kids for the summer.
Now I love my job. I get to work in the morning, and then head home in the early afternoon. It gives me time to keep my house clean and my husband fed, as well as make some money towards student loans. Granted, I do have a really great group of kids. I think even if I didn’t have a behavior management plan this summer, I could still manage this class. Having a “good” class is always a huge confidence booster to a teacher! My students constantly have me laughing and are so much fun to be around. Yes, I still hate the system of daycare. I don’t think any child should have to be indoors all summer long with a teacher who won’t let them play in the dirt, throw things at each other, pick up a bug or wrestle on the floor. They should be outside ALL summer long, picking up bugs, getting poison ivy, rolling in the dirt and mud while they wrestle with their siblings. But the truth of the matter is that this summer I feel more sorry for the parents than the kids. I feel sorry that both parents have to/want to work out of the home, and that they have to drop their child off at a center every morning. It must be so hard for them to walk away and leave their child with a teacher that they hardly know. It must be so difficult to come back at the end of a long workday to pick their child up again. I don’t know how they do it.
But I love having the responsibility to give these children a fun summer. I get to implement the structure of a real classroom, with the fun of summertime. I get to say, “let’s go outside and LOOK at the bugs!” whenever I really want. I get to laugh with these children all day long, and I hope that I am able to make an impact on some of their lives through my work this summer.
P.S. If you have any FUN summer crafts or activities, please send them my way! Remember that they have to be child appropriate, that we have to stay at the center and that won’t get me trouble with some parents! =) Pinterest is almost too full of ideas, I sometimes don’t know where to start and get sooo overwhelmed by it all! Some of our themes for the summer are:
– USA week
– Christmas in July