Every so often, we have the unpleasant task of saying “No”. ‘No’ to someone who would like to be a Granny.
Given how short of Grannies we are and how many we really need, this is particularly hard. Yet, the bottom line is that not everyone is cut out to be a Granny. Just good intentions are not enough. Nor are having one or two key qualities (e.g. ‘initiative’ or ‘tech savvy’) enough. It’s the whole package and how it is put together that makes the difference. And of course some qualities are crucial [e.g. the way we view children and how we think they learn]. If you don’t have those, it’s probably best to use your potential and talents in other ways.
We get a lot of applications and it takes quite a bit of time for our voluntary core team to go through them. Many don’t get past the first stage as they realize from our first response and the reflection and/or realization that ensues that ‘it is not what they thought it was going to be’, or that ‘it involves far more commitment than they are willing, or in a position to give’.
So it really would help all around if anyone who wants to consider being a part of the Granny Cloud team engaged in a spot of self-reflection [before applying!]. Don’t just go to the application form and fill it out. Carefully explore the http://thegrannycloud.org/become-a-granny/ page as well as the other pages for information on what this initiative is all about – Our children, our goals, our locations, even a bit of our history .
And then, before you apply, ask yourself…..
- Curious about the world around me?
- Enthusiastic about learning new stuff?
- Willing to put in the time and effort to learn about places and people [even when I think I know all about it]?
- Open to new ideas?
- Able to deal with frustration?
- Animated? Expressive?
- Accepting of people and ways of life different from my own?
- Interested in listening to other people – children included
- Okay with not ‘knowing’ everything?
- Comfortable with ‘not being in control’? Comfortable with a bit of ‘chaos’?
- Excited by new ideas, possibilities?
- Concerned about the educational system scenario in the present day?
- Committed to the effort of trying to bring about a change in children’s lives?
- Enjoy being with children? Interacting with people?
- Understand how children develop? How they learn?
- Easily view a situation from different perspectives? See where another person’s point of view might come from?
- Speak more than 1 or two languages?
- View my involvement as part of the way humans connect with each other? As part of human interdependence and responsibility towards each other?
- See ‘technology’ as a tool rather than ‘good’ or ‘evil’?
- Like traveling [at least virtually]? Have actually travelled?
Do I have…
- Clear, ‘slow’ diction?
- Varied interests?
- A sense of adventure?
- An exposure to the world beyond my own locality? Interact online or otherwise with people outside my close circle of family and friends?
- Varied professional and personal experiences that I can bring into the interaction if needed?
- An experience of bringing up children, or being responsible for their care – professionally or personally?
- A sense of humour?
- A high level of frustration tolerance?
- A fair amount of energy – physical as well as emotional?
- A rich life that I enjoy and am seeking to make it richer still?
- The basic space & technology [equipment/bandwidth/connectivity] from where I can comfortably connect to varied locations?
By no means do we expect that every single Granny will have every single quality listed above [and then some!], but having several of these will make it more likely that you will be effective as a Granny, AND make it more likely that you will enjoy the experience and stay with the project/initiative a little longer.
And hopefully, you
- Are not authoritarian
- Are not Dogmatic
- Don’t see yourself as the ‘giver’ and the children as ‘recipients’ of your grace
- Are not offended when challenged by a younger, apparently less experienced person
- Are not viewing this as a panacea for dealing with your problems
- Are not just wanting to add this experience to your resume!
Just one final question…
Are you willing to commit a year or two [if more we would be thrilled!] of at least one hour a week [on an average] to this effort? Yes? Then, please do apply!