If I was given money every time I’ve heard, “Miss Pam is old! She’s 26!” I would be one rich girl. If only that statement was true. There are many more years added to that age, but if 26 is how old you think I am, then I’ll take it.
In reality, this is a big year for me. As much as I am not looking forward to it, I will be 2 quarters worth in years. Ugh! How did I get this old? It happens to us all. It is a blessing in disguise though, because not all people get to become aged, unfortunately. I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot and have come out stronger because of it.
When I first started caring for kids in daycare, a few of my co-workers were graying and old looking but very wise. They had tips and tricks up their sleeves to tame the rowdiest child. Us newbies looked up to these “seasoned teachers” with awe. How did they do that? What an interesting activity they did. Very smart hacks were learned. Their classrooms were stocked with empty pop bottles, cardboard boxes, yarn, cups, barely filled paint tubes, old newspapers, and other “junk, as us younger staff saw things. Why keep this stuff?
Time has flown by; I still see those “seasoned” teachers (blessed to still work with a select few that have shown me the ropes back in my beginning). But, somehow and at some point I am now considered one of the seasoned ones. Some may say I have a little more “spice” in my seasoning though.
I enjoy doing what I do. I’ve learned a lot. Now MY classroom can sometimes look like a museum, because of all the collections that have taken place in the past 26 years. Some people call it clutter, but I dare not part with it, because I’m going to use it one of these days, right? Co-workers come and look through my stash of empty pop bottles, cardboard boxes, yarn, and other “junk”. Nine times out of ten, I probably have what they are looking for or something similar.
Books of ideas and projects and games that are yellow with age decorate the shelves. They are well loved looking because that is exactly what they are- well loved. I know secret tips and tricks that I hope are looked up to by my younger, unseasoned co-workers. I have seen a lot, been through a lot and I have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and the hat. Or so it seems. There is always, ALWAYS, something new to learn.
As I look back, I can’t help but ask myself, what has kept me here so long? Money? Nope! Advancement? No, not really. Job security? I don’t know. Not knowing what will become of the day? Getting closer. There are always surprises that keep the day interesting. I should write a book on the stuff that has come out of my mouth that I shouldn’t have had to say. For example: “Why are you licking the floor?” “You put your finger in his mouth, that’s why you got bit.” “ Can you please stop hiding your friend’s fork under the table?” Then I get the stare from that child that makes it look like I’m growing a third eye. Like, “How dare you tell me that?” It’s comical, really! That’s what gets me through most of my days.
Every day, sometimes every minute, I just shake my head. You never know what to expect out of these kids. They keep life interesting, to say the least!
Caring for kids is what I’ve always done. I started babysitting in my early teens. My parents had a built-in babysitter when my brother was born when I was sixteen. I’m not complaining, just saying, I’ve been taking care of children for a LONG time, and I like to think I do a good job. There isn’t another profession I see myself doing, especially at this age. And that’s OK! I am now “seasoned”.
Written by: Pam Brzuski (Lead Blue Room 1 Teacher in Stow)