Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Profuse Bleeding from Three Children Rounded Out the Day Nicely

I work at an after school center (AND on a college campus, somehow it's all a part of the same job description. Variety at its finest, really.)

Today, I was a substitute group leader at day camp for a group of 20 5, 6, and 7-year-olds.

All I can say is: Holy crap, K-3 teachers are SAINTS. Saints, I tell you! Why? The questions, for one. They didn't stop talking, and 90% of the time, it was questions: "Can you tell him to quit? Can I push the trashcan? Can I wipe the table? What are we going to do after lunch? What are we going to do after the hike? What are we gonna do after that? Can I get another milk? Is that an apple? Is an apple a veggie? Is an apple a vegetable? Then what is an apple? (and the EVER PRESENT:) Can I go to the bathroom?"

Holy dear GOD. At one point, I declared: "If anyone asks me one more question, I'm going to collapse into a puddle and die." (Honestly. Can be a little dramatic. But I was with them from 8 till 5. That's nine. long. hours.) Someone thought it was funny, so they asked a question.

I collapsed to the ground (hey, I keep my word!), and that only brought on more questions: "What happened? Ms. Ashley, did you fall? Why are you on the ground?"

Which brings me to my name. I'm sick of it now. After hearing "Ms. Ashley..." no less than 12 billion times today, I'm ready for a new name. How does Stella sound? So much more interesting than Ashley, right? Some ambiguity - is she ethnic? is she a grandma? or is she just a rock star? Ms. Stella. Oh yeah.

After lunch, ten adorable children were leaning in towards me intently, asking me a billion questions. I was laughing uncontrollably at the situation, so hard I couldn't speak clearly. "Why are you laughing? What's so funny? Ms. Ashley, what?"

I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn towards the sweet 5-year-old boy with a baby afro and a lisp. "Are..are..we gonna play kickball?" He asks as he spews chewed up Salisbury steak and mashed potato ALL over me.

With this, I was completely hopeless. Paralyzed with laughter at the hilarity of the entire situation. Innocent children, adorable and sweet, driving me insane with their incessant questioning. Dirt smeared all over my shirt, tears in my eyes, and chewed up food covering my shoulder, I surrendered and silently declared my relief that I chose not to be a teacher of small children. Adorable as they are, I want to have a few, not be in charge of 20 everyday.


  1. Yeah, they never warn you about the bodily fluids, do they? When I was in college I went to the school where my aunt was teaching, to help her clean out the closet. There was a big bag of sawdust. . . and now I know what it's for. Ewwwwww.

  2. And that, my friend, is why I am a high school teacher. :) Sounds tiring!

  3. ohhhh noooo. When I was a swim instructor a little girl threw up... in my mouth! I suddenly changed my ideal profession to something kids would never be around.. an accountant. lol

  4. ok ok so maybe how did she throw up in my mouth.. I was getting ready to have her blow bubbles "1....2.......AND..." then the puke.

  5. BAHAHAHHA, kids are awesome, but NOT in groups of more than 10 and NOT when they are in ever present question mode.

    "Because I said so." Yes, my dad said I would say it and yes I do.

    Always works for me.

  6. 6th graders in any school TFA serves, also insane. Beatify me. ;)

  7. Haha. That reminds me of when I was a camp counselor for that age group. They're a handful and are so inquisitive about everything.

    Kudos for surviving the day! And isn't it nice knowing that you want only a few kids, not a litter? I used to take joy in that whenever I was exhaused from a day at camp. (:


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