Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Chocolate cake and chips

I have spent the afternoon in the reception class and I will never complain about the Year 6s again. Where do these little, bouncy people get all their energy from? 

Many years ago, when I started as a teaching assistant, I worked for two years in the reception class and loved it. I felt fulfilled and enjoyed the company of thirty over-enthusiastic and slightly leaky mini-humans. Truth be told, I found the Year 6s a bit scary, with their noise and back-chat, hanging off each other as they crashed down the corridor. Today, I spent two hours in reception and am in dire need of alcohol. Their welcome was lovely. They all wanted me to sit with them and look at their drawings. I was ordered to read a story about an elephant by a girl who clambered into my lap and helped me with the voices and sound effects (you can't do sound effects and animal stories with the Year 6s). I had to make an order from a girl with a notepad and purple felt-tip. I asked for chocolate cake, and she asked if I'd like chips with it, so I thought, why not? 'You can order anything from my shop,' she announced. 'What else would you like?' I thought that asking for Jake Gyllenhaal would be inappropriate, so I added some ice-cream to my order, and she wandered off to put some sand in a bowl for me. 

Can I have chips with that? Cheers. 

I suppose one good thing about the reception class children is that you can get really silly with them, (although there have been times when I've done that with the Year 6s). A crowd of them started making a Duplo house for me, and I helped by sorting through the bricks. 'Can I have a polar bear in my house?' I asked, finding one in the bottom of the box. 'You can't have a polar bear in your house!' they told me. 'What about a zebra?' 'No!' I was ordered. 'You can have a baby.' I'd rather have had a zebra...

Oh well. It was kind of fun, but exhausting, and I'm thinking about how I've changed from the days when I loved working with four year olds. At least I can remind myself of this afternoon the next time the older children are winding me up. Yes, they may try answering back at times; they may be a bit cheeky and hormonal, but at least they don't sneeze all over the tables. 

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