I must say there is no end to the excitement when you are working with kids. It's difficult not to love a job where your main requirement is to ensure that the kids are having fun and learning. Although my opinion may change by the end of the week - so far I have somehow managed to avoid diaper changing duties. Not sure if I will be able to keep that up! As soon as I arrived at Nature's Childcare I felt comfortable. The staff are awesome and the kids have been so welcoming. I think I knew that everyone working there would be great people before I arrived. One, because you have to be in order to love working with kids. And two, because when I arrived I saw they went to the trouble to paint a welcoming picture on the front window, complete with a drawing of me. Very cool!
After getting a tour of the center, I was thrown right into it because a local news crew came by and wanted to get some footage of me with the kids for their story. So, within 15 minutes I was in front of a class reading a book to the kids I had just been introduced to. The kids took it easy on me responding well to my attempt at matching voices to the various characters and it was fun.
Kids are great. They are scared, shy, and stare at you with a blank face when they first meet you, then five minutes later they are your best friend and want to talk to you about everything. It's amazing some of the random things they say. After a few days at the center, I can imagine that it must be difficult to start the day in a bad mood. The kids are always so happy to see you. How can you not help but smile when as you enter a room, your adoring five year olds fans run toward you, shout your name with excitement and give you a big hug?
I have spent most of time this week playing games with the kids, reading stories, coloring, dancing... on Tuesday we braved the snow storm and took some of the kids on a field trip to Boondocks, a fun park nearby the center. We ate pizza and played in the huge indoor jungle gym. Although the sign said, maximum height 48", I couldn't help but join them.
It's been awesome this week working in an environment where everyone loves what they are doing and are clearly in the profession for the right reasons. As the director of Nature's Childcare keeps re-affirming: "We are poor in our pockets, yet rich in our hearts."