24 July 2009
Two for the Price of One
I feel the need to separate Everyday Life from internship/volunteer/play because they are two worlds that consume my life but have very little to do with each other. I mean it's not like I can call up my pre-schoolers as if they were co-workers and ask them to do lunch and then hit up a matinee on Saturday.
The above picture was taken at yesterday's Jumpstart Session. Hoedown was the theme and my girl Julia played a hoedown song on the violin. This picture encompasses every Tuesday and Thursday of summer 2009. I love this picture because it shows the outcome of team work and the reward of working with little happy children. We have a special little individual in our class named Brandy. She wasn't originally part of Jumpstart, but when Alyssa's partner child was absent, she would fill the vacancy with Brandy. We are sure Brandy comes from a difficult place - she does not have many words, her clothes are too small for her and she resorts to whining to express herself. Jumpstart has worked wonders for this little girl. She smiles when she walks through the door, she uses gestures to convey meaning, and she has started giving hugs. Alyssa gets the credit for most of this because she connects with her in class, on the playground, in English and Spanish. She also showers her with hugs and affection. These warm embraces are changing someone's life. Never underestimate the power of a smile or hug.
I know Jumpstart is good for the kids, but it is good for me, too. I can honestly say I know what team work means. The next job interview I have, I will tell them one of my strengths is team work. I have not mastered it and I am probably not even that good at it, but I live this principle every single day. We are consistenly coming up with fresh ideas and planning sessions and compromising to get it done - whether it be delegating who goes to Costco to get the boxes or who gets to tie the cape around their partner child that day in the classroom. Everything is team work, everything is hard, but absolutely everything is worth it.
We're sticking together for the kids: