8 Jobs I've Done

1. Summer Camp Counselor - I spent every summer (from the year I was 13 until the year I was 20) working at a YMCA summer camp with 3, 4, and 5 year olds. I started out volunteering as a C.I.T. (counselor in training) when my aunt was the director... and worked my way up to full-fledged counselor. I spent a lot of time watching kids run through sprinklers and draw with sidewalk chalk. And every week we went on a field trip. Not a bad way to spend your summers.

2. Assistant Pre-K Teacher with Head Start - This was the first job I took in NC after finishing college (with a degree in Child Development). Head Start is a preschool program set up for low income/poverty level families. It was an extremely eye opening job for me. The school year started with home visits. On the extreme side... one family lived in a house with a dirt floor... and their running water was a hose through a hole in the wall. Other families lived in trailer homes, one of these families had 8 people living in a 3 room trailer. On one hand... it was heartbreaking to me to see such small children living in such conditions. On the other hand... I felt so fortunate to be given the chance to spend my day with children that were just so happy to be in school, so thankful to be coloring with crayons or swinging in the sunshine on the playground. I spent 10 months with that group of children... but I'll always remember them.

3. Child Care Group Teacher (Infants) - I spent a few years running an infant room at a child care center. We took care of 8 babies a day ranging from 6 weeks to 18 months old. I never planned on working with babies... but I loved it. In the years I spent as group teacher I had just over 2 dozen infants grow through my room. It truly made me realize how different each and every child was, while all still being so similar. (Does that make sense?)

4. Nanny - I decided to go to Graduate School to get a Master's in Elementary Education... and it worked out really well to become a Nanny. I worked for a family who I already knew... their son, Sean, had been in my infant room from the time he was 6 weeks old until he was 1 1/2. When I was planning to leave the child care center to start school, Sean's father was changing jobs and Sean was leaving the center. He was 2 1/2. It seemed perfect timing for both them and me. I "worked" with Sean... and then Christopher (who was born after I started as their Nanny). It was a great experience and felt more like family than work.

5. 2nd Grade Teacher - To finish my Master's Degree I chose to do In-Service Teaching (rather than student teaching) at a Ukrainian Catholic School. I really enjoyed the age group. They were so much fun. Still at the age where they love school and love their teacher. I also loved the school... very small... very family-like. There was one classroom for each grade level.... so the kids had been together since kindergarten and would be together until they left the school for high school. Everyone really knew everyone. Had the salary been better... I probably would still be there (it was REALLY bad... the one year worked out because I was still technically a student). I was really sad to leave.

6 (or 3 again sort of). Child Care Lead Teacher (Infants) - After finishing my Master's degree and spending way too much time and energy searching for a public elementary school position, I gave up and went back to child care "temporarily". I saw an ad in the paper for the center where I had worked before. I called up my old boss and asked if I could work while I kept looking for a elementary position. She was happy to have me back. When I didn't find anything else... and they didn't find anyone else... I decided to stay on as the Lead Teacher. It was the same job as before (same classroom... different babies) but I was also the supervisor for the 2nd infant room. So... more responsibility.

7. Parent Service Director - After I had been back to the infant room for a while an administration position opened up. A totally different kind of responsibility. I worked a lot less with the children and a lot more with the parents and staff. I totally learned how true it is that you cannot make everyone happy all of the time. And some people... you can't make happy at all. The job involved a lot of juggling. Scheduling staff, scheduling workshops, organizing class groups, scheduling children's transitions from one age group to the next, keeping track of a huge wait list and enrolling new children. The job list goes on and on. As busy as I was... and as many hats as I had to wear... I really loved the job. I still miss a lot of the people I worked with.

8. Mom - The most wonderful job I've ever had... but also the hardest! I feel like all of the teaching and child care experience was just preparing me for mommy hood. I have said many times... I use my degree in child development every single day!

I did have other random jobs.  I worked at the jewelry counter at Epstein's department store. I worked at a sandwich shop/diner/ice cream shop during college. . I worked at an after-school program. I worked at a teaching supply store.  And I babysat like crazy.  What kind of jobs have you had?