According to Facebook Memories, this month marks my four-year anniversary working with Poway Unified School District as an After School Staff. It is my fifth year if I include YMCA days.
I want to recognize and appreciate after school employees. We don’t get paid much, we don’t get recognize as a qualified aide, some devalue our importance in children’s life, and honestly, others view us very negatively.
However, I see value in each of us. In after school, students get to relax a little bit with their stressful school time. Even though, the students’ real character shows during after school hours; I take it as honesty or being real. I am thankful for parents for trusting us to help their children with academic assistance and character growth. I am thankful for teachers for communicating with us so we can help students to be a better person in life.
It is rewarding when a student comes visit to say “hello.” Few days ago, I had several high school students who were thankful and told me that they miss my homework hour. The other day, a parent was very appreciative for all the things that we do during after school. And there are memorable moments such as a student telling me that he was close of quitting life but he found joy and hope because there were after school staff that did not gave up on him. They see us as big brother and big sister. Guys, let us continue the good works.
Yes, it is tough. We don’t get paid much. We get discriminated sometimes. But, I tell you that the reward is far greater than money. We make a difference. We have children that likes staying after school to get time off from stress at home. We have students that enjoy staying after school because they can act real. We have students that admires us despite of all the negative things that we encounter.
Remember, it is better to have a loud and messy room than super clean empty rooms. Why? Because we know that the children are safe in our time instead of students doing illegal things outside of school unsupervised. They are in our room, hanging out with friends, and having fun. I would take the hate from parents, belittlement from some teachers, and complaints from other staff because I know that I would rather see the students safe. (I like clean rooms though…)
Thank you for all supportive parents, teachers, and staff.
After School Staff, we may not matter for some but I tell you: AFTER SCHOOL MATTERS!