My role on a Saturday largely consists of playing with the screaming kids, hopping in and out of lessons as I’m needed, and being set upon unhappy souls in a bit to cheer them up.
They call me The Child Whisperer.
At least they would if it didn’t sound so creepy.
I wouldn’t say that I’m good with kids.
Well, I am, I teach kids, so there’s a large element of that is being good with kids, what I mean is, I wasn’t naturally good with kids.
I used to think it wasn’t cool to like children, when really I was scared of dropping them, or them hurting themselves, of something bad happening when they were in my care and being entirely unqualified to deal with the situtation.
As I got older, and got to know more children, learnt life skills and how to look after myself, looking after the little ones wasn’t so much of a problem and eventually I got to the point where I love kids.
They’re so much fun.
They’re imagination is still ticking over at more or less the same pace as mine.
If you ask them to go for a safari ride in the water and to keep an eye out for the lions and zebras, I can guarantee every single kid will have ‘seen’ something.
Their pride isn’t so overwhelming that they can’t be cheered up by putting a toy seal on your head and they seem to like me.
I do think I’m cheating somewhat.
Genetically speaking I’m at an advantage, more often than not when a kid’s upset, they want Mum, so they’re more willing to go to a female.
And I’m big and squishy, just like Mum.
I’m not saying all Mum’s are big and squishy, but if you think back to cuddles with Mum when you’re little, I’m pretty sure all you’re going to remember is how safe it felt, how soft and squishy and big her arms seemed.
I’m also incredibly patient and most of the time, all the kids need is someone to spend those extra few minutes with them – minutes the teacher wants to give, but can’t always – just while they settle down, a minor dunking and then they’re away.
Despite the early start, I think Saturday’s could become my favourite shift.