This summer, I have taken on a new task in my life. I have chosen to work at camps with 1st – 5th grade students. I chose this in order to help me prepare for my future career, and I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned thus far.
- Working with children is NOT for the weak. Yes, I’m 19. Yes, I’m full of energy (or supposed to be), but y’all these kids will blow your mind!
- Working with children is also SO rewarding. Even though these kids are full of energy, cannot sit still for longer than 10 minutes, and are still learning to listen, it is so worth it at the end. There’s just something about a child who comes to you, gives you the biggest hug, and says, “Thank you for teaching me this week.”
- I don’t know everything. I seriously thought I would know about a million times more than these children considering I’ve been in school 15 years, but these kids taught me some really cool facts! *Did you know mountain lions can whistle* Yeah, neither did I!
- It takes a village. I used to think I’d be able to handle teaching, being a mom someday, and even this job on my own. Oh how wrong I was. When you’re new, have little to zero experience, YOU WILL NEED HELP! And it’s totally okay to ask for it.
- Accept advice with a grain of salt. I know above I said that it’s okay to ask for help, but if you end up not agreeing with said “help” take it with a grain of salt and move on. Sometimes your feelings will get hurt, but you’ll learn from it. It will hurt, but that’s okay because it shows you care.
- Be passionate always. For this period of time, whether it’s 9 hours a day as a teacher, or for a few weeks at camp, you are this child’s example. Be intentional in your words, firm in your actions, and show passion for the job.
- Sometimes, you have to be “the mean one.” I literally HATE being the mean one, but these kids need to learn to show respect and you are their teacher for the week. It’s okay to tell them “no” and to be firm.
- You are allowed to be tired. And stressed, definitely allowed to be both tired and stressed. Especially by the end of the week. However, do your very best to not take it out on the kids.
- I would choose to do this all over again. By the end of the week, I was SO tired. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I’m still so extremely blessed by the opportunity I have. This job has seriously opened my eyes and I’m so thankful that I’m being prepared to teach every day. These kids have my heart and are the only reason why I keep choosing this, even on the rough days.