Friday, June 16, 2006

Warning: Whining to follow

I am sooo glad it is Friday. Even tough I had a great week, I just have to whine a little about my job for a minute. My job is hard. It is difficult during the school year, when the kids are in school for half a day, and I only work with the one age group(five year olds), but it is downright exhausting in the summer when the kids are with you all day and they are ages four and a half to twelve. Exhausting down to the bone. For those of you that have school age children at home for the summer and have to keep them entertained and happy, you feel my pain. Except instead of two or three children to keep happy, I have forty-two. Yup. Forty. Two. School. Aged. Children. Don't get me wrong. It is my choice to have this job. Heck, I even have a two year degree in early childhood education, with an emphasis on children ages 5-12. I have this type of job because I do like it most of the time. It is rewarding. Plus, it is the only thing I have ever done, besides teach pre-school. I like the flexibility of this more. It does hold a little less responsibility too, as far as actual "learning" and lesson planning go. I was tired of being pressured by parents when we would spend all day collecting and examining bugs and they would ask at the end of the day "But what are you teaching them?" There is more room for craftiness too, as school age children often prefer more "product related" art, versus creative art. But we do both. Anyhoo, as I get older, this job kicks my butt in the summertime. And there is no way for me to write this without sounding way old, but kids these days! Oy! They are so challenging. They don't follow directions. At all. It's almost like they are so accustomed to not listening to what you tell them to do, that they are physically unable to do what you asked(or didn't ask). Of course there are the exceptions. The "easy" kids. But I'm talking about the majority. And most of them are sooo spoiled. I work at a Private religious institiution, so that might account for this, but does it account for the fact that they think the sun, moon, and stars revolve around them? Here are a few things some girls said to me today:

We have a blow up pool that we get out on Fridays. Last year we had two. One for the girls and one for the boys. This year I was only able to purchase one, so the kids had to share(gasp!), but I told them I would purchase another one by the next water day. A group of girls approaches me with the following conversation:
Them: "Michelle, we have been talking and we think you should buy two more pools to use for water day."
Me: I said "Two more? What for? We have only had two in the past."
Them: "Yes, but we think the older girls should have their own so we don't have to share with the smaller girls."
Me: "Oh. Well, I don't think so. Besides, it is a lot of work to get the pools out, fill them up, and empty them out every Friday."
Them: "Yeah, but that's part of your job, right?"
I just laughed and told them to go have fun in the pool before it was the boys turn.

But it irked me. Do people not teach their children about simple respect for adults anymore?
Or how about, "You are not the only child/ren on the face of this earth?"

Here's an example of the "not following directions".
Me: (To a seven year old boy in the pool) Please don't sit on the side of the pool. All the water is coming out.
Him: Completely ignores me.
Me: (Two more times). Please don't sit on the side of the pool. All of the water is coming out.
One of those times I walked directly up to him and was standing in front of him.
Him: Completely ignores me.
Me: "You need to get out of the pool now. You are not listening to me."
Him: HE SPLASHES ME IN THE FACE!!!!!! And refuses to get out. When I make him get out, he begins yelling and screaming and practically kicking his feet! I cannot believe this! I put him in "time out" and he begins to cry! He says it isn't fair! This is a seven year old boy! Huh? I had to physically walk away from him and count to ten. If he acts like this with me, who he doesn't even know all that well, how does he act at home? It scares me.

Here is another scenario that happened today:
Three boys are bouncing a large, light rubber ball inside. I tell them they can roll it, but they are not to bounce it or throw it at one another. I go back to preparing snack. Of course they begin hucking the ball at each other as hard as they can. The ball is ricocheting off of the ceiling, the walls, the windows. I go over to retrieve the ball from them. When I ask them to give it to me, one of them throws it to another boy. Sigh. That boy begins sitting on it, bouncing up and down on it. Looking straight at me. Smiling. I tell him(I'm done asking) to go put the ball in the ball bin. Now. He says "I didn't get it out." I repeat my "request". He says "No. I didn't get it out." He is still bouncing up and down on it. I have to physically place my hand on his arm and repeat my request. I tell him to go sit in time out. He finally does do it, but he does not put the ball away. He simply goes and sits down. I had one of the other boys put the ball away. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! Again, much deep breathing and counting follow.

I worry that I will not have the patience to do this job when I have a child of my own at home. Or, rather I won't have anything left for my daughter. I'm afraid all of my patience will be sucked dry. And that won't be fair to her. Or me. I know I don't have have to worry about this for some time yet, but I'm a worrier. It may be time to start training for another career. So as you can see, I am so glad it is Friday! I think I might need a stiff drink!


Stacey Teague said...

If Austin was behaving like that, I would want to be called at home and pick him up. Maybe you should suggest it as a new rule to the administration. Disrespect is just not COOL!

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel about having all of your patience sucked right out of you :( I have four step-children who are very "challenging". They were never taught things like respect from their mom when they were little, then we got custody of three of them and now we get to deal with all the fun ;) Anyway, as my family has pointed out on many occasions, when I have a child of my own I will be able to teach her respect, right from wrong, morals, etc. without interference from outside influences who basically don't care. I'm sure there will still be challenges here and there, but not the constant battle I fight every day.

And over forty kids? At once? I hope you had a couple stiff drinks! Wow - I don't think I'd have any hair left!

Enjoy your weekend :)