As I am sure many of you know, I have been working a lot this summer. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, I devoted my time to working at Kids Choice at my childhood elementary school. Kids Choice is a summer program where children as young as 4, to as old as 12, can play games, do projects, go on field trips, and much more. Sometimes, the children have parents who aren't home during the day during the summer, so that's where Kids Choice comes in. With my passion for working with kids, I figured this program would be a perfect fit. I was paid pretty well, and I was able to play with kids all day. Sounds like the best right? Well, in some cases there were times where I absolutely loved my job, and then there were other times to where I was counting down the hours to leave. Although, I do not regret my time there at all.
This job gave me great experience for what I will be doing later as a career, which is to be an elementary school teacher. I definitely learned that each kid is unique. Some have behavioral issues. Some have special needs, and others have disabilities. I will not say that there is a single normal child that I worked with. I don't like the word normal. Each child has their own beautiful personality, making them some of the greatest people you will ever meet. Some people will say that kids are just brats. To me, I don't believe that. Yes, some kids can have moments where they are extra sassy towards me, or give me an attitude. This is where I learned that you need to sit down and talk to the child, and not just yell at them. The more you yell at a kid, the more they won't listen to you. I am never a person to yell or become angry, either. There were times where I would have to be more stern with the children, and that is when they knew Miss Maddie wasn't happy.
I cannot express enough how much I loved first coming into work in the mornings. When I arrive there at 9, the kids are all outside on the playground after they have eaten their breakfast. As soon as they see me come out on the playground, I hear "Miss Maddie Miss Maddie!" coming from every angle. I am smiling right now just thinking about this. The look on the kids faces when they saw me was absolutely priceless, and it would make my heart warm. I would have 8 kids at a time come and hug me. Another one of my favorites is when I help a crying child. There was once, when a little 5 year old wouldn't take her medicine at lunch, and she was crying because she was probably stressed that no one was with her. She has to take her medicine, otherwise she can't play until she does. When I looked over and saw her crying at the table all by herself, my heart jumped out for her. I gave her a hug, and all she was telling me was that she wanted her mother. After a few minutes, I was able to make her calm down and talk to me. Her medicine was in some applesauce, so I asked her if she wanted me to eat some applesauce with her. She nodded her head. I get some applesauce and sat down right next to her, and asked her to take bites with me. With time, she started to eat her applesauce all by herself, and not long after, her beautiful, glowing smile came back on her face. Knowing that I helped that little soul become happy again, makes me so incredibly happy. That is when I knew that teaching is 100% for me.
I always was involved with the kids. I even made sure to learn how to do some projects, so I could make things for them, and teach them how to be creative. They're little minds are like sponges, and they are always willing to learn new things. Some kids' home life, is not the best, so when they come to Kids Choice, I wanted to give them what they deserve, which is to be happy. It is hard sometimes, because a lot of the kids don't have someone to talk to, so they will talk to me and tell me about bad things going on in their life. I tried to make them forget about that, at least while I had my time there.
I will be forever grateful for this experience. Besides the complaining, arguing, constant tattle tailing, crying, and fighting, I will miss the children so much. I will miss seeing their happy faces, and their bright personalities. But, this is only my first step in molding the minds of little ones. There is much more to come!
Just a girl with a journal, a pen and a camera trying to express herself to the outside.