Working with Children Every Day, by Emma O’Sullivan

Working with children every day is by no means a walk in the park, however, neither is a trudge through a fire swamp! It takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm but it can be really rewarding. When the kids react to your energy and start to get excited about learning and participating in class it’s incredibly motivating. Even if you are feeling weary and a little indifferent, those feelings won’t last two minutes in a classroom with eight 5/6 year olds! You have to be familiar with the material you’re teaching, of course, but also, you have to be animated and excited about it! Yes, it can be difficult to fain interest in the fact that ‘It’s a chair!’ but once you see the kid’s faces light up you actually will be delighted that ‘It’s a chair!’. It can be tiring at times, definitely, but I think being tired after a day of teaching young children is a pretty amazing reason to be tired.

You need to patient and flexible when working with young children. Unfortunately, they usually cannot be reasoned with. Logic is not something they are familiar with! If they are upset, they will let you know. If they are hungry, they will let you know. If they are tired, they will let you know! Most of the time they can be distracted, if you look like you’re having fun they will want to join in. If the other children are having fun they will want to join in. You have to be able to quickly adapt to different situations that could arise at any moment. Young children can be unpredictable but as long as you keep your spirits up they will usually follow along. Dealing with these situations every day can be tough, thankfully, they don’t usually happen every day. And all you have to realize is every situation you deal with makes the next one that bit easier to handle.

Working with children every day is many things; it’s rewarding, it’s challenging, it’s tiring, it’s fun, it’s demanding, it’s exciting. However, the one thing it never is, is boring.

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