|I have recently (in the past year or so) come around a bit on this issue, as well. Last March I left my corporate job and went back to working as a speech pathologist. Every day I am surrounded by three and four year olds at a special preschool for delayed kids in West Philadelphia. I'm sure there are worse family situations than those of the kids I teach, but I haven't seen them. Yet at this young age, there are still many children who come into the classroom every morning with fresh eyes and a gorgeous grin, ready to be thrilled by whatever the day might hold. |
They surprise me all the time. I bring fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm where I live and they appreciate them - even more than the Happy Meals they sometimes bring for lunch, if they bring one at all. They sit silently and listen to beautiful music most mornings, and enjoy it more than my own rendition of "Old MacDonald" - actually, some of them cover their ears for that one.
A month or so ago we dropped some seeds onto a wet paper towel stuck in a Zip-Lock bag and taped them to the window. I thought the "wow" factor would be quite low, instead I have found that every day the children notice any development in the growth of our sprouts. Kids who have struggled all year with the concepts of "big" and "bigger", or yesterday vs. today, suddenly are dragging me over to the window and pointing out to me a miniscule tendril that wasn't there before.
And I realise that these kids from sad homes are still happy, so far. Resiliant, and hopeful, and strong. I feel happy when I am with them, when my morning circle time begins with "good morning miss Ashley!"
I feel happy when they cheer for one another's successes - not a "good job" and a handshake - literally jumping up and down, waving arms and cheering. I never got that at my old job and I think that now I don't want to live without it.