By Beckie Carlson
Working at an elementary school is a lot like working at a circus. There is a lot of laughing, shouting, running around, and game playing. Once you get outside,it gets even more entertaining.
I love working here. The kids tell me regularly that I am their favorite aide. I wonder why that is? I make them follow the rules, I don't pick up their garbage, I let them beat me at tetherball, and I kick the ball far so they have to run to get it. Maybe it is the motherly aura that lingers from my own home. I've been a mom a long time. My kids would admit to it being as long as they can remember. I guess that is right, although I don't feel old enough to be a mother to some of them.
I think learning should be fun. I try to make some fun in every lesson I teach, when I'm on the playground, in the lunchroom, and even at the gate when I work the 'bouncer' position. My son informed me last night that you can't learn when you are having fun because 'learning' takes 'effort' in the brain area and that is hard and not fun, and blah blah blah. I stopped listening because he wasn't making it funny. He is a smart guy though, so I did ponder it for a few moments before I found chocolate in my bag.
Does learning have to take effort? I beg to differ with my brilliant son. I can remember many times when I thought I was playing a game, or having fun and later realized I learned something. Of course, I can't remember any of the specifics right NOW, but I promise it happened.
The key to making learning fun is to not make kids cry during the game you are playing. Or is it? Maybe the little girl I made cry today will learn not to be such a bit drama queen and play nice next time. Or maybe, I'll learn that even when I call someone 'bratty' under my breath....they might hear it and cry. Maybe the real lesson here is that I need to eat a whole lot more chocolate on the first day of my cycle before stepping into a third grade class.....cause I said so.
Photo credit: www.goodenoughmother.com