A West Countryman’s View – Never Work with Children or Animals

I was always told that you shouldn’t work with children and animals. Well I’ve done both and found that it wasn’t that bad.

Rainbow in the Mendips

Children take you for what you are and not what you pretend to be. Their knowledge of the world and all its complications is fairly limited, while their questioning is straight forward and factual. To them a year is a long time, and when you are 5 years old it amounts to 20 % of your life. Only in our later years does time fly past.

The work that I do in Farm and Countryside education brings me in touch with all age groups, but it is with children that I feel the effect is most felt. Inner city children are the most rewarding group to work with. Firstly there is a relationship to be built with them and their teachers. They need to get to know me, for I am someone from outside their own family and social circle. Someone who has just ‘popped’ up in their life and is telling them all these new and amazing things that they never heard of before.

When they are having fun they are learning, and when they are learning they are having fun. It comes up time and time again in feed back sessions, the things they had fun doing they learnt from. Gosh how good can that be!! Some of it may be lost in years to come, but some may stay dormant and grow again in their later lives, who knows.

As a boy growing up in the countryside, it was the ‘old men’ who provided all the knowledge of how it lived worked and died. Today I am the ‘old man’ and it’s my turn to pass the knowledge on. I use the rainbow picture to illustrate my meaning. It is a bright shining light, full of hope and promise for a better tomorrow.

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