Monday

Welfare to work

my week at kids' city was great, overall. Those are long days, when you're looking after kids full time. Often not looking after them like you probably think i mean it; it's a combination of looking out for them, and playing with them; at no point should they have felt looked after. So it was half fun and half - like watching a slow documentary about childhood. when i say 'fun', even then i was constantly looking over my shoulder and struggling not to let any particular kids monopolise my time. It's a playscheme, not a pastoral system, although i was often called upon to adjudicate petty squabbles, and the lack of resources made for some schneider-esque deviations from the week's schedule; 'thursday: tents and dens. We have no tents or construction materials. Free play!' the two activities i lead - a treasure hunt and a 'science experiment' involving lemons and red cabbages - were both very well recieved, and though the kids didn't quite grasp 'hydrogen potential' they were amazed by the liquid changing colour before their eyes. I could go on for ages and should have liveblogged it. But time marches on.
So how did it all feel? By the end of the week, i was taking a whole lot less jam from the kids. Although some of the permanent staff didn't seem to have a quiet mode - raising their voices seemed to be their mode of operation, only leading to such tones becoming ever less effective in the ensuing arms race - i don't think i was worn down into aggression with the kids, instead i'd built up the confidence needed to speak to them with authority, or even ignore the trouble makers telling on each other. Well okay, part of it was savvy, part of it may have been being sick of them whining, but they need to make you sick of them, so that they can make you make them sort it out themselves, right? It's a survival strategy.
Halfway through the week i found out i'd got into east london uni for the teaching course which was awesome.
Ok, that's enough of that. Next: my 'week' at barclays bank..
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