The last time I went to Cityview to volunteer for ACES we had a small amount of students show up, but Katie, the team leader, dealt with the situation very well. We allowed the ones who did choose to participate to draw and play games, as they were in the middle of standardized testing and didn't have any homework to complete. We talked with the students in a very comfortable, more relaxed way, as the program was very laid back that day.
I will only be going to ACES one more time, as I have my hours complete and we are rapidly approaching the period of headaches and long nights in school. I feel that it may be hard to tell the kids that I won't be coming back any more. I have been working with the same group of students throughout my experience, and while I have developed closer relationships with some students than others, it will still be strange to not see them all every week. They have taught me a lot and every time I go, I learn that there comes a time where you just need to calm down and forget about everything you have to do at home. The kids need you to really be there when you go. They deserve it.
In general, working with kids of any age, culture, religion etc can really take a toll on you, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life if you let it. Though I am quite sure I could never work with students on a daily basis, I do enjoy doing it intermittently.
In the summer I work as a sailing instructor for the lake that I live on. I was recently informed that the sailing school may be trying to develop a relationship with the local YMCA and other organizations to give underprivileged kids the opportunity to attend a camp in which they could spend time on the lake and learn to sail. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to help with this program. I think it would be a great thing to see kids learning to sail who REALLY wanted to do something new, as opposed to the kids I currently coach, who tend to think they are "too cool for sailing school."
This may be lame, but I envy the simplicity of their lives and I love being included in them, even for short periods of time.