Something that has surprised me about this internship is how much I like working with older kids. To most, “older kids” probably means middle-schoolers or older, but for me, it means 3rd-5th graders. I have worked with preschoolers all the way up to 2nd graders before, and wasn’t sure I would care for older kids. After all, they don’t do all of the silly, cute stuff that younger kids do without even realizing how they look or sound.
But, because the older kids are so self-aware, I can talk to them like they’re older, and know that they understand me. This makes it feel like I don’t have to put on a certain voice necessarily, or act drastically different from my normal self. It has been refreshing to come into work and have conversations with people that are 9 years old that I actually enjoy.
Granted, I can’t be best friends with these kids, otherwise they would not see me as an authority figure (which is very important for everyone’s sanity and wellbeing!). It’s been a growing experience for me in that I have learned how to have conversations with more mature young minds, but also have to remind myself that they are not old enough to talk about every topic. This is made apparent by the differences in our interests (like how they use fidget spinners…) so this helps to remind me daily.