Is it weird that I really enjoy volunteering in the concession stand during football games? ‘Cos I do.
I like adding up the prices in my head and making change, because it keeps me sharp. I like working with our awesome PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) president and her equally awesome family, because they give me hope. I like boxing up popcorn and making coffee, maybe because at some level, it reminds me of being in the kitchen at the Rock. But what I like most is seeing the kids.
You’d think after spending all week with them, I’d be tired of them, but I love seeing them in a different context, where they’re just having a good time with their friends, and where I don’t have to tell them to quiet down or get in their seats or tuck in their shirttails. They’re comfortable and happy, and so am I.
The dynamic is different, and I think that’s really important. Kids need to know that their teachers like them. Of course I adore them — how could I not, when they’re so funny and clever and full of potential? — but I’m not sure they realize that when I’m nagging them about the dress code or the cell phone policy or whatever. When I’m serving them nachos or making them hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, the vibe is different, and I think it’s well worth the effort to have those moments of simple happiness.