Monday, June 11, 2012

Pros and Cons of Working with Children

My new job involves working with the (mostly) delightful children of Utah County. Having survived my first week, I have already compiled some of the best and the worst factors of spending an extended amount of time with the younger population.

Pro: Instant Self-Esteem booster

If you want to feel better about yourself, work with kids. Not only do they treat you like a rockstar, some will actually cry when you leave. You can't buy that kind of flattery. You will be told many times how awesome/beautiful your clothes, hair, face, earrings, shoes, and eyes are.

Con: Prepare to always hear complaining about something

The classroom is too cold/hot, you spent to little/much time on snack break, someone else in the class didn't look at them nicely... it literally goes on and on. You develop very quickly a constantly empathetic expression and become adept at appeasement. I suddenly have a lot more sympathy for Neville Chamberlain.

Pro: It's cool to be dorky

You can let your inner freak flag fly, because, the more silly and ridiculous you act, the more they love it. On the same side, you can be a know-it-all without being completely obnoxious. You get asked a question about why lasers are called lasers and you can launch into a 15 minute explanation about 'Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation' and have 20 faces in complete awe stare back at you. (note: They might not actually be impressed as much as they are just completely lost... as you are next asked what 'acronym' means. This doesn't matter, take it as flattery and leave it at that)

Con: You have to have about 50 pairs of eyes

I think I'm beginning to understand the biological advantage to having multiple eyes. Generally these are granted to creatures with very large numbers of offspring. I believe that, in large groups, the young of any species are apt to go completely out of control. All it takes is for you to be helping one group of children with their project to turn around and find someone attempting to climb out a window, or up a flagpole, or over a fence, or on top of the piano, or into a stranger's van, or under the bleachers, or into the bushes, or into some other highly hazardous area.

Pro: It's FUN!

There's a reason people voluntarily choose this for employment. Kids are fun. Playing is fun. You get to release your inner child and just enjoy life again. Yes, it can be very stressful, and yes you have to solve many many ridiculous disputes and constantly save them from themselves, but it is really worth it. Nothing is cooler than seeing a kid learn something new or do something they'd only seen happen in movies. That excitement is contagious. It's refreshing to be reminded of life when the biggest worries are what's for dinner and what I'm going to build with my lego set.

(p.s. I don't know why there's like 3 different types of font going on... just go with it)