My Summer Working at a Childcare Center

by Emma Francois

I spent the last two summers working at a childcare center at a country club. It has been an interesting experience for me. Working at the country club is different from any of my other experiences of working with children. Most of the time, as an education major who volunteers a lot, I am tutoring or teaching them. These instances, however, are usually in short time periods and only occur about once a week. That means my relationships with the kids I am tutoring are fairly friendly, and they are happy to listen to me because I only tell them what to do very occasionally.

My experience with the kids at the country club was very different and working there has definitely been a learning experience for me. It was really the first time in my life where I was working with the same kids every day, multiple days in a row, for most of the summer. The relationship that you have with kids when you see them that frequently is unlike the relationship when you only see them once a week. The kids, in some cases, become more defiant the more they are around you. This was difficult for me because I was never sure how much I could discipline the children. They were not, after all, my kids or even my students. There were not really any set rules in the center where I worked. I could also usually tell when kids did not get very much discipline at home, and this made it even harder to enforce any kind of structure. Of course, that does not mean that all the children were like this. Most of the kids were really good and well behaved, but it’s the problem children that you remember the most.  

Overall, while the summer seemed pretty standard and boring to me, I think I did benefit from my experience at the country club. Throughout the summer I gained knowledge about dealing with the same kids on a regular basis, and about how to react when they did not listen to what I was telling them to do. It also helped me in regards to my faith life because it helped me to remember that, no matter how the children were acting, they are still children of God. They still have as much dignity as anyone else. This an important thing to remember whenever you’re dealing with challenging people, no matter the situation. As long as we can remember that we are all the same in God’s eyes, we can treat other people with love and kindness, and this knowledge will help me in my future teaching career and in life.   

Edited by Ben Swick and Barb Miller

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