‘The lasts’ begins

So today I had my official last day at work. For some this would be a celebration, but for me I am a little bit sad. Sure it is nice to have a break, but I am going to miss my work a lot. I work at a swim school, teaching young children to swim. It is an amazing job, both because of the people I work with, and also the children.

I guess the thing that I am going to miss most is the children. They are (mostly) so cheerful, and funny, and say things that just make me smile. Sure you have those days where it seems that in every class there is that one kid that is being annoying and mucking up, but I guess this makes my job even more rewarding. When ‘the perfect child’ gets something for the first time there is a moment of ‘woo great job!’ followed by a high five. But when a kid who isn’t what you would call ‘well behaved’ gets something, the thrill is even better. It is more like “woooohooooo!!! Awesome work!!!! You are amazing!!!” followed most likely by an over excited (on my behalf) high 10! I have learnt so much from my job. About kids, parents, teaching and myself. Kids are funny. Most of the time they haven’t quite caught onto the whole ‘oh I’m in a social situation, I probably shouldn’t say ‘blah blah”. So they so innocently say the most ridiculous, sometimes unfortunately rude things. I have also realised, probably more recently, that children do a lot of things in a day! Well I knew that, but what I didn’t fully realise was how this can affect them. Quite often by the time a child gets to swimming lessons, they are over-tired and as a result really unmotivated. Sometimes this is really hard to remember, when you have a child who just isn’t kicking, but if you put yourself in their place, suddenly it isn’t so bad. I guess this is apparent in all parts of life, not just teaching kids to swim. You know those times when you try having a conversation with someone and they just don’t seem interested in what you’re saying? It is really depressing, but if you think about the day they might have had, their response seems somewhat normal. I know after a really tiring day at uni, followed by work, I am not in the mood to talk heaps!!

I have also seen so clearly a parents love and protectiveness over their children. Giving your child to a total stranger, in such a dangerous environment must be so terrifying for parents. I am so grateful for the trust the bestow in me to teach their children to swim. As in everything in life, there is also the parent who is over protective, or a little bit too pushy, but in the end it is their love for their child that is the instigator for this character, something I have to remind myself of often. 

I am absolutely going to miss this job so much! I have learnt so much! This job has given me so much more confidence then I ever had, and I have also realised that I have a real passion for working with children. I always liked hanging out with kids, and mucking around with them, but teaching them is definitely something different. They pick things up so quickly, and when a kid moves up a level, or simply just does really good kicking or arms, it brings me so much joy. 

This was one of the (probably many) ‘last time I do [insert activity here]’ moments. Whilst it is sad, I know that the next 7 months on exchange will also bring a lot of ‘firsts’, and this is exciting! 

This week I also started up a new blog to journal my exchange travels. This new blog is going to be purely travel/ exchange experiences, more about where I am going. I hope to keep this blog up and running, with a similar sort of theme.