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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy to Help.....

Image: debidrecksler.blogspot.com
After school programs are like gold mines for cleaning/stacking/sharpening helper elves.  You know what I'm talking about.  Dismissal hits and you release all of the children into the wild.  Then, you selectively recruit one or two particularly competent ones from the aftercare room for some afterschool jobs around the classroom.

They stack the chairs!

They sharpen the pencils!

They help pass out papers!

They might even offer a little unsolicited advice as they help clean for Back to School Night.  Abria, on loan from aftercare the afternoon before the evening's presentation, suggested that we put out a few of the beanbag chairs for the parents.  "Can't we just tell them to relax or something?"

And then....

Ahem.  AHEM!

That is the sound of a child with her hand outstretched, waiting for a little payment.  I'd like to think their donation of time is a labor of love.  Your payment?  A lovely, clean classroom!  How delightful!  Isn't it fun to put back the randomly scattered markers into their boxes?  What a treat!  Sharp pencils!  We can all appreciate that, eh?

Some children, though, ain't buyin' it.  Enough of this, "Helping is fun" nonsense.  Their time comes at a price.

During the Back to School Night preparations, Abria started dropping some "subtle" hints about her preferred form of compensation. 

"That's not fair that you get to chew gum and we don't!" she exclaimed.

"Mm hmm.  Now let's move these tables" I replied.

"You sure do smell minty fresh!' said Abria after she and Carson had helped rearrange the tables.

  For their 45 minutes of work, I thought that a piece of gum each was a very reasonable price.

  Today after school, there was some stacking, sharpening, and cleaning to be done, so I hit up my usual labor pool.  Abria and Ellie were happy to come help out.  When the jobs were done, the girls gathered up their bookbags to go.  "Bye!" Abria cheerfully called over her shoulder.  "We're happy to help!....even thought we didn't get no treats."

  Despite her hinting, today's payment was a lovely, clean classroom.  We can all appreciate that!

3 comments:

Sarah said...

Did she REALLY say that last part!?! I think the older the kids, the more they want a tangible thank you. Maybe start recruiting the kindergartners :)

Kelly said...

Hahaha! I agree with Sarah, the younger kids are more likely to do it just because it's fun to hang out in your room. But then again, they may be less helpful haha.

Sarah Garb said...

Oh, indeed she did tack that on at the end, Sarah. Abria is not one to let any favors go unrewarded ;)

Kelly--you really do have to choose carefully! There are definitely many kids I would put in the "less helpful" category!