There are so many things I love about my job. I love when I get a random appreciation hug from a child who I’m never quite sure is paying attention. I love it when one of my kids is about to walk out the door with her mom, only to turn back and run to give me a goodbye hug. I usually love hearing “Miss Megg?” in their little voices. I love the kindergarten and first graders I work with every day. But one thing? Narrowing my days into the one thing I love about my job? Impossible.
Instead, I’ll tell you about what we did on Monday.
It was 75 degrees out with hardly a cloud in the sky, which is unusual for late April out here. We had our pre-shift meeting outside, and I found not just my mood, but everyone’s to be elevated thanks to the weather. My supervisor’s one request was that we get the kids outside as much as possible, so we decided to have snack outside.
When I came back from my particular bus run (we pick the kids up at school), we were transitioning into snack. Bowls of salad with dressing were lined up on the table, and the kids systematically washed their hands and grabbed their snack. There were only a few, “I don’t want dressing,” or “can I have the red cereal bar?” requests, and soon we had about 50 children (30 of them from my class alone) spread out on the grass in the sun.
As I stood there, looking around, all I could do was smile and think about how awesome my job really is. I looked at the kids, perched in the grass, chatting with each other. I looked at R, sitting on his heels, eating his chips and salad on the sidewalk. I saw F, J and E, inseparable friends, running around, pink cups of water abandoned. I saw A’s face light up when I told him he could run around (within our view) when he was done with his snack. I watched him tell his friend, C, and saw C’s face light up too at the change of routine.
Then I watched as they circled up, and started playing Drip, Drip, Drop, a form or Duck, Duck, Goose, with water. I laughed, when M jumped up and ran, giggling, not even understanding that he needed to find another spot in the circle.
Their eyes, lit up with the excitement of doing something unusual. The glint of sun off my blonde-haired students. The smiles on all their faces as they soaked in the sun. The giggles and the sound of their carefree running feet as they cartwheeled through the grass. There wasn’t a care in the world. For about 45 minutes I didn’t hear any, “Miss Megg, so-and-so pushed me!” I didn’t have to tell anyone to read quietly, or to play nicely. For about 45 minutes even my own cares and stresses were gone.
I guess that’s the power of the sun in Seattle.
This post inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt “What do you love most about your job?”