I am currently unemployed and have been since last week. I quit my job as an After school Care Assistant to do relief (substitute) teaching. I haven’t started relief teaching yet as I have been very sick so I am going to regain my health before I start. My after school care job involved looking after children after they finished school for the day. The service is for parents who work late and need someone to take care of their children before they finish work. All I had to do was prepare some afternoon snacks, set up some craft activities for them, play with the children and pack stuff up.
It was a really busy centre as we had many children. Sometimes it got so noisy that I couldn't think straight. The children were really nice kids and we didn't have any major trouble with them. In some centres, the children are wild because they know we need their business and there’s hardly any consequences.
My favourite things to do at work was organise the craft activities, supervise meal times and cleaning. We had a big storeroom full of craft materials and I liked to look on the internet for things that we could do. While I worked at the centre, we made red poppies out of crepe paper, snazzy glasses out of pipe cleaners, collages and heaps of other stuff I can’t remember.
I also liked to supervise meal times because I liked preparing the food. I tried to give the children some variety but it was hard to come up with new things as we could only use the food on our approved list. We had one rule to meal times which was that you had to eat when it was eating time or miss out if you got hungry later. You also were only allowed to eat if you were present at the start of the meal, you couldn't suddenly decide to eat. Whenever we had a particularly good snack, children would suddenly decide to eat but they usually turned away much to their disappointment. Some children were pretty good at sneaking to the table and adamantly insisting that they had been there the whole time. I was a big softy on that issue and pretended to believe them.
The staff were supportive and friendly. We were all new to job so we learnt together how to manage. We all had some background in education but with varying experience so it was a good mix when it came to collaborating ideas. I know I will miss the staff and I regret that I will not continue working with such good people.
Many people asked me if I would miss the children and my answer is NOPE! There were some children that I bonded with but I don’t feel that I made much connection with any of the children. I think it is because I spent most of my time making sure the centre ran properly rather than making meaningful relationships with the children.
I learnt a lot from working at the centre, particularly management and how to deal with different people. I hope to visit them one day to see how everyone is doing. Before I left, we were preparing to move to a new premise so I wonder at their progress.