Well, I’m just doing all KINDS of “back at ____ again” posts here, aren’t I? Well, two. I’ve done two. Including this one. But so many!
I haven’t talked about it much, but since before I started dating Sydney, I’ve been attending church with her. That deserves its own post, entirely, but in brief summation for now — it’s been a very good experience 🙂 . The other week the congregation was provided with a Volunteer Form which pinpointed various helper-needs around the church, with the greatest needs highlighted for us. I had, just weeks before, come upon the idea of emailing the pastor to offer my services to the church wherever I was needed most, so my heart was already in the same place as this request by the church leaders aspired it to be. I happily selected most of the urgent need options, with an emphasis on my strengths and interests: working with the youth, various “grunt work” opportunities such as cleaning, setting up, and moving things, and community outreach (I underlined this one). Lo and behold, while the latter two items on that list are what I would most prefer, I nearly immediately received an email asking that I help with the former — assisting with the kids in Sunday school.
I haven’t worked with little whippersnappers for over a year, now, not since my job helping young children with autism drove me to the point of not wanting to work with kids possibly ever again. And yet, yesterday, I was back at it once more — helping out in the 3-K class during our third service.
It wasn’t bad… but I’m certainly still on the not-working-with-kids side of the fence 😉 .
There were only 3 little buggers in the room that service, ages 4 and 5, so it was really low-key. Part of the reason I initially veered away from teaching was the nature of the classroom and the structure of school, itself, but the same could be said for my withdrawal from church, too, and yet here I found myself in a place where I was forced to challenge myself on a combined front of these two issues :). Plenty of fun was had, though… the one boy was sweeter than molasses on a hill of sugar, one of the girls randomly sang “Jesus Loves Me” while we worked on a craft, and we all collectively sang “Deep and Wide” — which was one heck of a flashback to my own childhood in Sunday school. Of course it’s also just really easy, in comparison to much of the work I’d done with kids before, spending an hour with a group of kids who don’t have to sit through multiple lessons and have no homework or tests to concern themselves about.
I won’t be placed into the full rotation until next month, yesterday was a fluke sudden need, but I optioned myself as available for any grade-level, any service. I’m still hoping to be able to serve in other ways, but have personally challenged myself to grow and expand no matter what role I’m in. While I am with the kids, I am going to push to become more “teacherly” in ways that I never did before. In all fairness, I never really attempted to grow into the role of a teacher while pursuing that career field, and while I think my ultimate conclusion of not wanting to teach at all was correct and reached soundly, I certainly did shirk my responsibility of giving it my personal all and challenging myself. So, here I am in an opportunity to do just that. Similar to my feeble attempts to be an actor in the past, instead resting on the easy path, I now have these two former-passions back in my life… and while neither are likely to be future career options for me still, I owe it to myself to actually do my best this time around.
And all of this personal growth while smooshing blobs of Play-Doh with kids 🙂 .