I have a lot of passion for my work, which gives me a lot of weird inspiration day to day. The people who I work with are tiny little mini-monsters--very smart, but just wild. If you haven’t guessed, I work with kids. They are absolutely the light of my life, but they are a lot sometimes. Every one of them is a unique little ball of fire that burns like one of those fire tornado things, like that one character from Looney Toons--the Tasmanian Devil! Yes, that’s him.
I work with kids because they are probably the most interesting people you could work with, but another reason I really wanted to work with kids was because I wanted to inspire them. I’m so grateful to the education coordinators at my works, my bosses, because they really understand how to inspire kids with fun lessons and games, and they work with our kids to let them learn in the ways that they learn easiest. You see, people learn in unique ways. Some people are visual, meaning they respond to vivid images and often learn better when they are drawing. Some people are auditory learners, meaning they respond well to people’s voices and do well with the call and response method. Others yet are kinetic learners, meaning they learn well when they are moving or playing games. Some people have sensory deprivation and need extra stimulation to be receptive to information.
The information we teach are not as important as the inspiration we try to give in our lessons. It’s not so much that we care about kids learning what bird makes which call, it’s about letting them learn to listen to the forest. But I do wonder as a teacher, how do our impressions come off to the kids, how do our lessons affect them. I’m not wondering if they see me as a great teacher or a wonderful person. What sticks in my mind about a lot of my teachers is how they hurt me with their criticism. I don’t want to be that teacher. I want to my students know that they have the power to do amazing things, they have a light inside them. But, with that said, I want to be able to validate their feelings. It’s a tricky task for anyone, but I’m learning that through three years as a teacher, it gets even harder.
I never knew about the emotional toll it takes to keep up this roll for days on end year after year, so I applaud all the teachers I have had whether or not I previously thought they were good or bad teachers. It’s such a hard job, and I don’t even work year round for a full school day. I work at a daycare and an educational nature center. Additionally, teachers have to deal with discipline. To balance discipline with being an inspirational, validating role model is perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I know it’s true that you just do what you can each day and hope for the best, but I just kick myself every time I have to take a moment for myself or when I think I get harsh out of exasperation, thinking that these kids deserve more, they deserve the world on a platter because, after all, the world will someday be theirs. But then, I hear the voice of one of the most inspirational people in my life, the supervisor at my first job, saying that you have to take care of yourself first, because if you don’t who’s going to take care of you, and you won’t be able to be there for them. If you truly love them, love yourself a little too. Even when it’s really hard, remember that you are worth it as a human being, and you have the ability to take a moment and think about the good things.
The thing is, that I just keep going back to this worry, that one day, these kids are going to get their feelings hurt, or are going to god forbid get physically hurt. I freeze, and think about how I won’t be there to hold them while they cry, I won’t be there to tell them that they’re strong and that they have the power to love themselves, that nobody can knock them down, but that yes, it’s OK to cry. And as Ron K Brown said, “you cry and cry and with the last tear, there’s sunshine. Cry, it is cleansing.” But we do what we can, we build them up now so that when life comes and chips at them, they will be protected. But should we protect them like this? Some people say that life’s harshness polishes you like a shell in the surf, that life’s hammers break off your protective shell to show the gold within. Why should we hide this gold? Why should we protect them from the rough sand that makes them shine?
Sometimes I am at a loss for what to do. There are so many methods, so many techniques for how to raise children, how to teach them. How do we digest all of this information and pick out the pieces that we think will work, that we think will be helpful? In all honesty, we do what we can. I cannot give any other advice than this. Do what you can each day, and breathe through the day thinking about all the wonderful things that are going to happen to these kids one day. One day, they’re going to draw their favorite picture and others will marvel it. One day, they’re going to overcome obstacles, they’re going to see beautiful sights, they’re going to fall in love. One day, they’re going to have their own kids, and they’ll have ups and downs trying to raise them, and their kids will love them. Don’t think about the bad things, it’s part of life. Life, to be real, has beauty in all its forms. Even in ugliness there is beauty. Live life, there is only one.
Disco Chicken of Love
sTate fair ready!
seed starting 2019
ky state fair quilt
A sustainability major at U of L, beginning farmer, crafter, and writer.