The Best Job

I have, possibly, the best job in the world.

I mentioned in my last post that I’m a preschool teacher. Basically, what this involves is getting to work at 7:00 every morning and leaving at 17:30 every evening to look after other people’s children for 10 and a half hours per day.

Yeah, I know, if you’d said that to me when I was like, 16, I would’ve totally had that look too. The hours alone seem to make most of my friends pale. And that’s before we even get to the pay.

But the long hours and crappy pay actually have very little to do with anything. I don’t do this for the money. And hey, who needs sleep?

The point is, there aren’t a lot of jobs in the world where you get told, “I love you” many many times a day by the people you work with. There aren’t a lot of jobs in the world where you are subjected to hug and tickle attacks by the people you work with. There aren’t a lot of jobs in the world where seeing the achievements of the people you work with brings you so much joy your heart feels like it’s going to burst.

Every smile, every laugh, every “I love you, Teacher” makes it all so, so worth it. Every time a child my class manages to do a puzzle that’s been too hard for them before, or suddenly remembers the difference between blue and purple, or tells me that a rectangle is a rectangle when they’ve called it a triangle for the past six months… all of it makes my heart grow bigger.

Sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it downright hurts. I’ve seen abuse, I’ve seen parental indifference, I’ve had to deal with kids who’ve lost parents. I’ve lost my dad, but small children don’t understand why things like that happen. They can’t get why someone they love has left them, or hurt them, or simply doesn’t seem to care. And it affects the whole class when one of their friends is hurting. And often there’s nothing you can do except be there to offer hugs and love and gentleness. And from where I’m standing it doesn’t seem like a whole lot.

But when a child sees me in the morning and leaves their mother’s hand to run into my arms, when they give me a picture they drew at home that looks like spaghetti bolognaise but they say it’s me, and when I overhear a pair of 4 year olds discussing, amongst themselves, responsibility and how it affects them… well then all the bad stuff is worth it. Just for those moments.

Like I said, it’s the best job in the world.

Christmas Trees come in all shapes and sizes. 🙂

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