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?