The 5 Most Important Lessons You’ll Learn From Working With Children

Being an elementary education major means I spend a lot of time around people who are at least half my age. Spending 40 hours a week teaching children this semester has been both exhausting and rewarding, but I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. If you’re considering a job working with kids in the future, here are five things you should be prepared to learn.

  1. 1. Having multiple levels of protection against germs is necessary for survival

    Vitamins, hand sanitizer, and Lysol might prolong your health, but there's no guarantee you won't still get sick at least twice a month. We learn at a young age that cooties aren't real, but I can say there's something kids have that makes me sick quite often.

  2. 2. Always be prepared to be told too much information about their lives

    Kids don't know what it means to have a filter. Asking a child why they didn’t do their homework usually turns into a 10-minute conversation where they tell me things I definitely didn't need to know about themselves or their family. Get ready to know more secrets than the FBI.

  3. 3. The kids who frustrate you the most are the ones who need you the most

    There will always be one or two kids who make your eye twitch from just thinking about them because they’re so bad. While these kids might give you a massive headache, there's always a reason for their behavior. Many of the kids who act out are silently screaming for help. It’s your job to be there for them, even when it’s hard.

  4. 4. Children teach us just as much as we teach them

    Even though I’m the one standing at the front of the classroom every day, I leave learning just as much as the kids have. I might have plenty of war stories to share, but I have just as many amazing moments where I’ve learned along with my kids.

  5. 5. Flexibility will become your best friend

    Nothing in life ever goes as planned — this is especially true when you work with kids. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly learn to accept the chaos that accompanies these little creatures.

Not everyone can say they get to shape little minds. Whether you work in a classroom setting or somewhere completely different, always remember that you are having an impact on someone else's life, and that's amazing.