At the end of this past week we had a little sneak peek of how hard the last day of camp is actually going to be when 3 of our kids had to leave a week early – and it was not a good time. After spending two months with my kids I have to remind myself that however hard it is for me to leave them, I have spent this time telling them everyday how wonderful and smart they are in hopes that after this program ends they wouldn’t need me to remind them.
This experience has taught me the great value of working with kids in such small group settings can have. I can’t help but think of some of my more ~behaviorally challenged~ kids and how in large classroom settings their less then ideal behaviors will be used as a justification for writing them off. The amount of time I was able to devote to each of my kids allowed me to see the kid behind the behaviors. It provided me with the time and attention some kids need to be productive and comfortable in the classroom setting. It allowed me to figure out what works for each kids and how to manage each unique problem that arose – I recognize that this is a privilege. For this reason in the end of camp we will all be writing letters to the teachers of our kids in the next coming school year – I hope that I can convey how wonderful, fun and kind my kids are and how to best pull them outside of their shells to help their teachers to see the kid behind the behaviors as well.
In this last week I hope to teach my kids as much as I can – though i’ll probably end up learning just as much from them. Ironically, in the original training for this position we were given an extensive presentations on the importance and ways to go about the fostering of resiliency within our kids – yet I’ve not yet met one who needed anymore of it. All of our kids have demonstrated a fire and a determination to get back up when they’re knocked down. Spending this time throughout my program with these kids has taught me more about resilience than a presentation ever could. So in my leaving them I will remind them of their resiliency and remind myself of it as well, because they have taught me a lot about it.