So I have this whole new ‘employment’ type thing, since I’ve been in touch.
I paint. A lot.
And I work at a co-op art academy in the amazing setting of the Cuyahoga National Valley Park once a week.
AND I work as an educational aid substitute for the local school district 2-3 days a week, depending on order schedules.
So I am kind of spoiled with great jobs. Which has always been a habit of mine as you can read in The FUN Element
But I feel exceptionally fortunate to have a job with such an awesome opportunity to see such a variety of settings of people becoming…..people.
Six elementary schools. One middle, one Jr. high and one high school.
I never know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing until the morning of that day.
Anything from lunch monitor, office, escort for behavioral issues, librarian, special needs and classroom assistance to bus monitor for special needs children transport.
It’s always interesting.
First day working at the big scary highschool, there was an ALICE drill where I had to barricade the doors and have students crawl out the windows to meet at a rally point. Wait,WHAT?
This is a huge school mind you. I didn’t know the layout and the secretary gave me my folder, ID lanyard and said (on the way to the room) We would be having an ALICE drill (no idea what that was at the time) sometime between 4th-5th period, and info will be given over the PA. 4th, and most of 5th period was torture. Then we heard the announcement that the armed perpetrator was in the front hallway. It was then the teacher’s discresion to barricade and hide, or barricade and flee. I was told by the other teacher next door that we would be fleeing.
So that was a crazy day.
The Jr. High is actually more Formidable than the highschool. These kids are just testing boundaries and experiencing hormones and it makes them kind of challenging as masses.
My first few days at all the schools were intimidating but I got the hang of it.
Sometimes I feel among my peers with kids more than the ‘grown ups’
And I have learned the ropes. Sort of.
I no longer let kids leave the 11th period study hall 10 minutes early because they have ‘project placement at the library’….seriously fell for that. I mean, what does that even mean? or ‘Ms S let’s us every Fri’
When little Avril Lavine comes to class late smelling like an old school Perkins smoking section, and there’s nothing I can do (without visual proof) than remind her how terrible and ‘unbecoming’ smoking is these days, and follow her to her next class with a big smile.
I learned that it’s truly best to walk with the herd in the hallway and brace yourself for constant collision.
That there usually is in fact, an up and down stairway.
And that ….they’re just people.
We’re all people.
These kids that are figuring out who they are …and the kids I knew, when we were trying to figure out who we are….
We’re all just people. At certain points in our lives.
And no one is perfect.
AND people change.
Sometimes it’s so hard to let go of negative feelings, and impressions of people, kids, girls- that we had when we were in middle school. When we were in high school.
I emphasize girls because I remember how certain girls made me feel.
How I wonder how girls are going to make my daughter feel.
I see these young girls, these babies, and I know how much effect they have on one another.
So it’s interesting to observe it all from this side of the field. The experienced side. From outside the bubble where life was all about you.
I want to say to them, be you. Be yourself. Don’t stress over them.
Just like my teachers and grown ups told me.
And so goes the circle.
So I am reminded when I see people everywhere around me; my friends, colleagues, people from the past on social media, on the TV, in the news….we’re all. just. people.
We should remember that when we deal with each other. What influence we have on the little people around us. On the big people around us.
No one is perfect.
And from the ultimate wisdom for young girls, from Cinderella’s mum herself,
~Have courage and be kind.