Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Children and teamwork

Back from four days away working as a team on a programme of activities for children at a national celebration.

80+ adults working together to teach children more about God and his Kingdom. Everyone was the same. No-one was "staff" and the others "volunteers". There was loads of talking in person. No emails, phones, or post it notes. No having to phone your boss to make sure you got some important information across, or emailing scores of volunteers who work with you in your home church. Sure there was a boss, and his/her instructions were happily followed, but it was done in the old fashioned way - by face to face talking :-) How people coped before mobiles, computers and paper !?!

We lived together camped (literally) in a circle; chatting, eating and drinking together.

Loved it.

This would be my recommendation for any children's worker - go to one of these events and be one of a team!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lone Ranger.........

Sometimes when you work with children you can get to feel very lonely.
You long for the return to the days of huddling round cups of coffee and chatting about your weekend, not just talking for 1 minute before you feel guilty as there really is Something Else You Are Supposed To Be Doing (chatting at work - capital offence? Discuss.)

You remember when the staffroom door opened and a hush fell - was it one of the bosses? Stop talking about the hierarchy in school - quick!

When working with children meant you (the employees) were one of Us and not Them.
I'm not knocking working in school; but although you are apart from other adults when you teach; when you're not teaching there is a camraderie that's difficult to find anywhere else.

Even a call to go down to assembly with 30 children in tow means you can cast meaningful looks and nudges to your pals on staff. Ever tried holding a silent conversation with your friend and colleague on the other side of an assembly hall? It's fun. You become most proficient in NVC (non verbal communication).

Teaching has the potential to be lonely - if you let it! - but the staff room banter every day between 10.55 and 11.10 and 12.40pm and 1.30 was exceptionally brilliant fun.

I am off to England this weekend to work as part of a team of 80, providing a mixture of activities to 8 to 11 year olds. Some of it is Bible teaching, I hope all of it is lots of fun, and some of it provide opportunities for children to make different kinds of responses. I can't wait to go!

Although I work in a friendly, happy, busy office, with many, many people supporting me in my job; sometimes I feel on my own. My teams and I are not present for 50% of the services to hear, feel and see what's happening. It feels as if we're not the same as those who work pastorally with adults. Ummmm, yes, you have to think exceedingly quickly on your feet, have excellent organisational skill, be creative, have loads of energy, passion and be aware that there will be no pretending to be nice if what you have just done didn't work!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Rant

First day back at school today for my 6 year old.

Approach school gate carefully watching out for dog dirt, which sadly is a feature of many streets in this city. We keep our eyes peeled, do a few jumps to avoid several dog-created sausages and then one brand new Hush-Puppied shoe is coated from heel to toe and up the side too in a foul smelling brown dog jobbie..........

Result. Crying 6 year old. Stinking shoe. Social isolation in the classroom. Mother has a dry boak as she (that's me folks) tries to clean it off with a shred of paper tissue (nearby grass wouldn't shift it). Evil smelling.

And so the wee thing goes into a different playground, with a new teacher and new classmates, in tears. I want to go in with her, hold her, tell her its OK, bolster her confidence, but of course I can't.

Don't get me started on irresponsible dog owners.
What do you think the solution is to dog fouling???

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Sunday with 170 children........ through this Sunday - the "back to school" Sunday for Scottish children who attend church.

Great fun but slightly stressful. Children moving up groups; excited children; children bawling because they were "moving room"; children determined to talk non-stop till called (heh heh; the teacher voice projection never leaves you!!); but definitely pleased to be jumping and dancing in worship. I really must get a "setter-upper" - for me to set up the AV projector, laptop, get a mic working and fiddle with the PA all in 5 mins flat (as the hall is not available beforehand) is making my recently highlighted hair gain a few more grey flecks's all outweighed by the voice of the 5 year old who, when asked what makes God so powerful says "the Holy Spirit" and the 8 year old who recalls God's power in getting the whole family out of a difficult and dangerous situation which threatened them all.

This reminds me why I should listen carefully to children!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Me'n 3 year olds....not so different

This is a monumental weekend for Lynn and New Technology.
I have just listed my first item for selling on ebay.

It took me over an hour to do....harrruummpphh ....and I got more than a little frustrated. As there was a "special" offer on listings of 10p per item, it seems that the Rest of the World are also trying to upload photos of their no-longer-wanted tat. So........just like a wonderfully funny TV advert here of a well known comedian (Gregor Fisher) doing his Frustrated Man act when a download takes ages to do..........I'm banging my head off the table at the Upload speed. I could have been down to the charity shop and back in this time (which is where the unwanted goods usually go).

Or maybe I will try freecycle.......

So what do I and my three year old have in common? When frustrated with things not going our way, we bang our fists, generally go "nnoooooooooooo", get bad tempered and want to rip pieces of paper into shreds.
What, in modern day life, makes you go MAD?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Can it get any worse??

Oh man, I'm bad. I may need to get one of the children I work with to help me with this blogging melarkey. The boy in question is nine years old. Two frantic emails sent off and I still can't remember how to create a new post.

Which leads me to wonder - I used to known as quite bright. Do we REALLY lose brain cells as we get older? Am I going downhill even though I am only in my thirties? Why do children remember the tiniest thing you only mentioned in passing three weeks ago and then bring it back to you just when you thought they had forgotten?

Are there any tiny fragments of information that you remember from when you were very, very small? What was it and how wee were you?

I remember my mum crying when I was three. She had fallen off a potting table (don't ask)
The memory of my mum sobbing in pain from a deep cut has lasted with me all these years.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I finally started

Today I decided that there were no more excuses.
It was time to post something on my empty blog that had 82 profile views.

82 people who thought "yeah, right, nice blog" - and headed off THAT-a-way.

Inspired by the likes of Nick and Jamie, Brodie and even Henry (hmmmm, why are they all blokes??) who combine careers, fostering romance (!), raising we'ans, studying, and millions of other pressures added in and YET still manage to post fairly regularly ( we will exclude my friend Fletch here - who, as far as I know, is still stuck back in May ) (I'll be joining you soon!!), I thought I'd give it a try.

So here we are - I don't know yet how to add a photo - I don't know how to put hyperlinks in my text - but at least I'm talking.....