Working with Kids – A Tonic for Sure!

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This is a fact — most seniors absolutely love kids . . . me included. They just make you see the world from a different point of view.

Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably guessed that I write for a living. For the past few years I’ve been writing for my hometown newspaper and for Senior Care Advice. Just a few months ago, I put another hat on. I began substitute teaching in our local schools. I really didn’t know what I was getting into. Kids . . . they’re a different breed today. But one thing never changes — spending time with kids can be a kick in the pants!

What I Learned in Second Grade

This week I was teacher-for-a-day to second and third graders. What I first learned about second and third graders — they love to talk! Now I’m a newbie at this teaching thing, but I learned very quickly that you have to be resourceful to keep those kids down to a dull roar. So, I turned the table on them. When the noise got out of hand I told them I had a question for them. I was surprised when they all got quiet.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked. “Now I want to hear from you one at a time.”

Their answers varied just a little. Some of them I had to really think about — do you know what a YouTuber does? Some wanted to be police officers, actors, scientists while others wanted to be artists and inventors.

My follow-up question:  “How are you going to make your dreams come true?”

Again there was a quiet lull. “Go to college.” “Do well in school.” “Learn to read and write.” Those were their comments.

They got it. They actually settled down to do their work. Of course the 25 jumping jacks I made them do didn’t hurt either.

I also learned that some kids have a lot to handle in life. One little boy had to leave the class for an appointment. When he got back I asked him where he went. He told me he went to his therapist. I just said, “Oh.” Then he explained that his daddy had died the day after Independence Day. His face got a little sad, so I asked him if he needed a hug.

“Yes, I do!” he said. He hurried over to me to get his hug. He then looked at my eyes and said, “Thank you, I really needed that.”

Now that is better than a paycheck!

Never underestimate what you have that can make the difference in another’s life, especially the life of a child. Perhaps you won’t be surprised at all they give to you. Kids just say the darndest things! They’re honest if not polite and they’re fun to be around. I think I’m going to enjoy being a teacher . . . and the student!

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