Any job can be half-assed. Working with kids can be harder, because there are more mental/emotional elements involved, so sometimes you don’t know whether to put the effort in, or you’ve just become too exhausted to do so. Here are two stories where I didn’t regret trying.
Lyon: I was sitting in a teacher’s class, watching present continuous (-ing verbs) being taught when I saw the kid right next me wasn’t paying attention or filling out the page. Since the teacher never explicitly told me to help the kids during the lecture and it didn’t seem like the kid was remotely invested, I considered just ignoring it.
I realized this went against my life philosophy of “due diligence” so I made the effort. I asked him why he wasn’t doing it. He didn’t understand that question, let alone what he was supposed to do. He had a general sense of the grammar form and it didn’t take much work until I caught him up to what the rest of the class had filled out.
That might have been enough, but it continued, with the kid then raising his hand to volunteer answers, which apparently was totally out of the norm for him. He left the class with a smile on his face.
AmVil Macon 2010: Alastair/Shady has agreed to help me with my diet and exercise. I’ve been eating less and have worked out the past couple of days, since we have had both the time (no kids/camp) and opportunity (miraculously, the site has a gym).
There was a sweet, overweight kid who kept eating all sorts of food, including what was offered to people around him. I considered whether to ignore this or say something. I decided to just softly, calmly, non-chastisingly tell him that it probably wasn’t a good idea to have a 2nd (or potentially his 3rd or 4th) donut. He decided that he would split it with his friend, instead of eating it all himself. Possibly not the best choice, but still better than nothing. I felt, once again, like I had done the right thing.