Sometimes I just get really bummed out, and I wonder why I even like kids when I get angry at them so often.
But on Monday I went into a school for the first time this year and met girls who’d never seen me before, one of them asked for a hug after hanging out with me for maybe three minutes.
And today I went into another school with a class of third graders I’ve never worked with, and after our 30-minute session of introductions and Q&A, two of the girls hugged me on the way out. One of them reassured me that she still liked me even though I had a hard time pronouncing her name, and the other one stayed to chat with me until I had to go.
Another one asked me if I liked getting pictures and cards from students because she knew not everyone liked that.
And I’m sitting here like…I get to work with some really sweet kids. And I get to do some really, really cool stuff.
Like–I don’t want to brag–but I developed some pretty awesome programs and I have a lot of people telling me that what I do is amazing.
And I keep doing it, no matter how frustrating and exhausting it is. Because I can be having just a horrible shitty week and sometimes all it takes is a five-year-old holding my hand on the way back from school or one of the kids proudly showing me their “invention” or telling me a funny story or about their favorite book and suddenly I feel okay again.
And sometimes it doesn’t matter who I work with, or whether or not I like them, because these kids are the ones I’m working for. Not my supervisor, not my CEO. My job is making these kids’ days.
And they know–no matter how many times I take them aside for a “talk,” no matter how many times I show my anger, I’m always going to come back to them with a smile and a listening ear.
I’m not going to be my mom. I never, ever give a kid the cold shoulder. No matter how angry I might be. I might yell at them for throwing rocks in the street, but if they come up to me two minutes later with a picture or a story, I’m going to listen and smile just like I would with anyone else who hadn’t made that bad choice.
I can’t punish every choice for the rest of the day because of the one bad one they made. Then there’s no consistency. Why would they bother making good choices again if they know they’re going to get the same reaction from a teacher that ignores them because they were “bad”?
I work hours and hours and hours to make programs and activities and events that will make these kids smile. I can’t let some bad choices or bad days or bad feelings ruin that.