Who watches your children when the teacher takes a break? Yard duty supervisors do.
Yard dutysupervisors have your children for about 15 minutes at recess, and are there to keep them safe. We are people who must become caregivers, someone who puts a Band-Aid on blisters and answers questions about why “she won’t play with me anymore” or “my stomach hurts.”
I’ve been there for the first, second and third grades for about four years. I’m learning more about life and how to have more understanding and patience — children are great teachers. We are going through big changes in raising our children with all the high-tech stuff and knowledge at our fingertips, but I think we may be forgetting about the personal part of teaching. Don’t get me wrong, the teachers are doing a great job.
The moral part of growing up is a big challenge, and can only be found in learning about good character and teaching by example. We become the example on how to act in tough situations, and how to understand truth and fairness when making decisions. We become mentors to look up to. I use simple words like “believe,” “you can do it” or “share the ball when you want to keep it.” I tell them if you believe you, can achieve.
We’re out there holding stop signs when they come to school, when it’s pouring down rain and when it’s 100 degrees.
Some people don’t think they can make a difference, but just listening to a child can make all the difference. A lot of kids don’t have a mother or father, and rely on mentors for guidance. That’s where we come in and become a reflection of good character. It’s not easy being a yard duty, but the reward is overwhelming. When you get a parent that says thank you, or a child says you’re the best even after you discipline them, makes it all worthwhile. We have a tough job, but it’s all worth it.
To serve is one of the best things a person can do, and I’m so thankful that I can do my part.
When you see a yard duty supervisor with that stop sign or helping with the little ones, give them a big “Thumbs Up.”
Al Baldwin (Mr. Al)
Yard Duty Supervisor
Galt Joint Union Elementary School District