Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Young Minds Wear Me Out

Sometimes, all it takes to appreciate your own kids is to spend two weeks with someone else's kids. 18 of them to be exact.

Creative Writing Camp wraps up this week (phew!) and while I've really loved working with these soon-to-be third graders, I'm pretty much out of creative gas. (Not actual gas, mind you...that's never in short supply around this house.)

The sheer amount of on-point-ness it takes to keep 18 seven and eight-year olds from eating the carpet or stabbing each other with dull pencils is mind boggling. The fact that some of these kids can point blank ignore me when I'm speaking to them three inches from their face baffles me. Who is this kid? Where did they get nerves of steel? I was never an angel growing up, but I'm pretty sure when a teacher was kneeling in front of me trying to help me write a poem, I was never able to stonewall them and completely tune them out.

These kids are hard core.

But then I get the other kids to balance it out. The ones who tell me about having to split time with their mom and dad and how much they hate their dad's new wife. The ones whose moms are willing to drive them two hours each way from Lake Jackson just so they can be part of something like creative writing camp.

I love those ones. I love the glue bandits who play with the Elmer's when I'm not looking. Who eat their snacks crouched down low at their desks when I'm not looking. Who say "butt" out loud just to elicit that four and a half minutes of snorting and laughing from his peers.

And yes, the ones whose parents insist on stopping in each morning to see how their little Einstein or Mozart is doing and never failing to drop the word "gifted" at least three times in the conversation. You know, the same kid who cries before every assignment and moans for a half hour before starting. That gifted kid.

I had this sort of naive optimism before starting that I could always get my emergency certification this year and teach elementary school. You know, just....teach. Spout some brilliance. Change some lives. Brighten the world up a bit.

No big deal.

Then creative writing camp happened.

And I'm pretty sure that the only wild children I'm equipped to wrangle long term are my own, thank you very much. Leave the teaching to the blessed teachers.

Three more days, ya'll!


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