When I said yes to being Class of 2015 sponsor, I was thinking, "Amy…she's organized. I can totally work with her!" :) What I didn't realize was that I was taking on a huge role. Not just in the things we have had to plan, but a huge role in the lives of my juniors.
The past few months have been the hardest and busiest months since I started working at NHS. Many things have gotten easier now that I am in year 4, but the unknowns of class sponsor business have taken their toll on me. Car washes, concession stands, tattoo sales, movie night, recycling…it's been a lot, and I don't think I realized that it would be this much.
The other thing I didn't realize is how much better I would get to know the little friends. They love to talk and share and goof off with me because they know I am a safe person with whom they can do that. They come and hang out in my room…sometimes more often than I would like. I've done a lot of silly things with them like play "ninja" and take a million dumb pictures that might end up in the yearbook.
Even though we have a really good time, I've watched them grow in just a couple of months. The difference between the first car wash in June to movie night in November was crazy. First we've had a lot more kids get involved--YAY!. The kids that have come to everything knew exactly what needed to be done and did it. I didn't have to give them much instruction except for minor things. In June, I would tell them to do stuff, and they would be slow to get up to do it. In November, I said, "We have customers," and they jumped up to help. They're not perfect, but they're kids, and it's been fun to watch them grow and mature in a short time.
Things I've learned
- Work with someone who compliments you well.
- Get to know the custodians. They will help when you least expect them to.
- Have tough expectations from the beginning, and the kids will rise to the occasion.
- Be willing to try new fundraisers/events that haven't been done before. I wasn't, but despite my negative attitude, Movie Night turned out far better than I could have imagined.
- Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help. They will.
- Make lots of lists…otherwise you will forget something. (Maybe that's just me, but I don't think so.)
- Kids are kids. Let them be kids, but help them grow up too.
Getting back to my question: Why would anyone want to be a class sponsor?
My answer: The kids. This probably wouldn't have been my answer a few months ago, but it definitely is now.
Answer #2: I teach a rough class. Most of my babies are low, unmotivated and hate math and school. I'm in the process of changing that attitude, but it doesn't happen overnight. It's tough to teach them when you are trying to overcome so many obstacles. It can be frustrating. Getting to be a class sponsor forces me out of my daily teaching world and into a world where kids want to succeed, go to college, and participate in school activities. It's something that I needed to be reminded of. So, this is also a great reason to be a class sponsor. It's exhausting but so encouraging and rewarding.
If you are considering this or any other sponsor/coach position, consider your time, family, sanity, and work load. All of those things have taken a mega hit this year since I started #sponsorlife.