I hardly remembered applying for the job when I got a call asking me to come in for an interview. I blew it. I was nervous and totally blanked on one of the questions. My family has a saying, though – lo que es para ti, nadie te lo quita. What’s meant for you, no one can take away.
By some crazy miracle, I got the job. And with jitters and butterflies, I began my first day as a teacher’s aide at a local middle school.
Let’s be honest. The very thought gave me flashbacks of ugly duckling syndrome and angsty Simple Plan music at first.
What a relief to be proven wrong.
See, middle schoolers haven’t yet learned to be pretentious. They’re open, and hilarious, and so, so bright. Kids at my school run to class (possibly attributed to the threat of being locked out). They ask questions and take intellectual risks. They invite each other to sit together during lunch.
They also wear less eyeliner and own stocks…
I’ll admit this job is also challenging. Especially when computers are involved and the boys won’t stop toggling between screens. Working with ESL students, it means having enough patience for the both of us when a frustrated student can’t express what she needs from me. It’s humbling myself and simplifying my language to communicate well. It’s building trust and laughing at myself.
But it’s a challenge I’ll happily take on any day.