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Skating Volunteer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I watch all the lively, ambitious three- to five-year-old children gliding across the ice at 2: 45 every Monday afternoon, a smile comes to me. I realize that they are there not just to learn how to skate, but also to have fun. I am a figure skating instructor at the Quincy Youth Arena in Quincy, Massachusetts. I donate my time. I am also there to teach children something that I truly enjoy: skating.

You need to have a lot of patience when you deal with children. Every 15 minutes one of them has to go to the bathroom. This means skateguards have to be put on to protect their skate blades, snowsuits and mittens have to come off and I have to go along with them. I must also make sure the other children on the ice are not alone. Their noses dribble and they complain that their skates hurt. We go through the same thing every week and I wonder if my patience will run out by the end of their lesson.

However, by the end of the year (when we put on our skating show), I notice how much fun I have had during the year. They practice very hard for this show and after their routines are rewarded with bouquets of flowers their families throw onto the ice. At that moment they are very proud of themselves.

I am also rewarded by their smiles, the self satisfaction at their performance and the confidence they have gained during the year. It is fascinating to see young kids doing more than they thought they could. Some could not even stand on skates at the beginning of the year. In some small way I have helped them to glide across the ice and even if they do stumble and fall, they pick themselves up, smile and continue their routine. At this time, I only look forward to seeing them back next year. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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