Working Life, Reflections.

As I have now completed three full weeks of work and just have one week left to get through I felt like having a look at what working has been like this summer and where my condition is at the moment.

Although I knew it would be hard work, I didn’t really know how working 8 hour days, five days a week for four weeks would actually affect me. It’s been an interesting experience and I’m really pleased that I decided to do the work as now I know what I’m capable of and I have an idea of what would push me too far into exhaustion.

As I said on Wednesday, I really enjoy my job. I’ve always liked working with children; I used to volunteer at my old dance school as a teaching assistant, I did work experience in a nursery and I’ve always done a fair amount of babysitting. I find that helping children to develop their ability and improve their skills just makes me feel so satisfied, it’s a really fulfilling position as you feel as though you’ve made just a little bit of difference in their lives.

In case you’ve missed the posts in which I mentioned it, this holiday scheme is centred around arts and crafts activities. I work with the guy who runs the programme, and then three other girls around my age so it’s nice to have someone with whom you share interests to talk to in between chatting away with the children.

What’s always funny is watching the children interact, last week we had a couple of the most adorable little five-year-old girls you’ve ever seen and as best friends they did everything together. One lunch we asked them what they were playing to which one replied “I’m the mummy and she’s the baby and I’ve got 185 babies. It takes a really really long time to get all of them across the road!” It was all we could do to keep ourselves from falling about laughing. Children are hilarious.

Another of my favourite aspects of my job is when the children make you things as a present. Here are two I was given this week:

On the left: a little handmade envelope with a lovely message inside, on the right: apparently it’s a cross between a visor and a necklace… Either way it’s rather sweet!

On a slightly more serious note, I want to examine the way I feel physically after all of this. I’m not going to lie, I’m absolutely exhausted by about 11am on most days, it takes up a huge proportion of my energy just to act positive, bouncy and smiley for the remainder of the day. As well as walking around helping all the children, I play lots of games with them, we have to set everything up, and there’s a lot of clearing up and washing up to do each day. My hips ache for the first time in a while, whereas it’s usually mostly my back that pains me. My head hurts almost constantly and me knees won’t stop groaning at me.

It’s difficult but I’m so so proud of myself for pushing through it and managing to work just like any other able-bodied students. I’m planning to save as much of my earnings as possible  for the ever-nearing future.

Despite the fact that it’s tough work and I’m feeling a little worse for wear, I’m really glad I decided to work. Plus I get a couple of weeks off after I finish before I start my new term, I cannot wait to have a bit more time to relax and recuperate!

Have you ever worked with children?
What about your work makes you feel fulfilled?

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15 comments

  1. I love working with kids as well. Besides the fact that they do and say the cutest things they are honest and you can always count on the to speak their mind – and that’s one of the things I love most about them. Working with kids is also so fulfilling because you know you are having a hand in shaping their future – and it’s an amazing feeling.

    Happy you’ll have a bit of time later to relax – be sure to enjoy it!

    1. I can imagine that you’re really brilliant with kids, you strike me as someone with just the right amount of patience and the caring nature to really connect with them 🙂

      Thank you lovely, I’ll try to relax when I can!

    1. Aw thank you so much Sarah 🙂 It’s been hard but I’m pleased I decided to do it!

      That’s a shame, still as it’s something else you want to do that’s great anyway! Plus volunteering at Sunday School is a really lovely thing to do 🙂

  2. Aww that gift is so sweet! I have a love / hate relationship with kids. Some of the areas I work in they are well, hard work to say the least. But then you always get through to them eventually and I suppose that makes it actually more meaningful and satisfying. I am incredibly lucky to be working for a charity where I get a tremendous feeling of job satisfaction, and setting up my health coaching business and another social business too is just a dream come true for me! Making a difference and helping people by doing something I enjoy is what makes me tick 🙂

    1. They were cute weren’t they 🙂 I’ve never worked with difficult kids from more deprived backgrounds before but I can imagine that it can be hard. It’s something that I’d be really interested in doing though.

      Charity work is a wonderful thing and I can see why it gives you so much job satisfaction! Setting up your health coaching business must be amazing, I wish you all the luck in the world with it all!

  3. I love working with children. I wish I still did it. I used to run a camp as an Aquatics coordinator and I would spend two hours every day in the pool with kids from aged 4 – 12. The four, five and six year olds are my favourite (or younger, like the ones I worked with at daycare). They are still so innocent and EVERYTHING you say or do affects them. They also have an incredible memory and will show you up when you least expect it! I still have many of the gifts I was given from children and often wonder where they are now.

    1. That sounds like a really great job, helping kids to swim is such an important thing to do so I can imagine that it felt really fulfilling. I agree, they are so impressionable at that age. It’s such a wonderful experience to watch children surprise you with their talents!

    1. I know, I was so touched 🙂 It certainly does! Thank you Sarah, it’s so nice to have your support! I’m sure you’d be great with kids, you seem like quite a patient person and it’s one of the most important things!

  4. I’m so glad you did this too, Sophie! It definitely sounds like a challenge, but one where the rewards far outweigh the negatives. You never know what you can do or what you’ll enjoy until you try. It definitely seems like your calling is going to be to work with kids in the future!

    1. Oh thank you so much Allie! 🙂 I agree with you, it’s all about challenging yourself. I don’t know that I could to this week in week out but I do picture working in some kind of environment which involves children 🙂

      1. You could definitely find something that only involves a few hours of kids a day, or just a few days a week, so there’s plenty of time to sleep/recover in between 🙂

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