Government Jobs Working With Kids

Many people find joy and professional satisfaction in working with children. Whether they enjoy imparting knowledge to young minds, protecting little ones from harm or running around with pint-sized athletes, some long to spend their days in the presence of children.

There are many government jobs where people can work with children while serving their communities at large. Here are some of the more common government jobs working with children.

School Teacher

Teachers work with children at school and help shape futures.
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School teachers facilitate learning for children of just about all ages. For students ranging from pre-kindergarteners to high school seniors, teachers develop lesson plans and carry them out. Generally speaking, teachers can teach whatever subject or grade level as long as they have the credentials to do so.

Teachers find satisfaction in their work when students demonstrate their understanding of a subject matter. Having summers off is a nice perk, too.

One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching school is dealing with discipline problems. Bad behavior is more than just an annoyance. It distracts and detracts from learning for all students. Teachers cannot make students behave. They can enforce the consequences of misbehavior, but if students do not come to school with a certain level of respect for authority, teachers face an uphill climb when trying to address discipline problems.

Similar professions include substitute teacher, coach, librarian, and school counselor. All spend their days in schools working directly with children in an educational setting.

Child Protective Services Caseworker

Workers in child protective services often burn out quickly.
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Child protective services caseworkers investigate allegations of abuse and neglect perpetrated against children and provide services to families to alleviate current maltreatment and prevent it from happening in the future. Caseworkers must have strong investigatory and social work skills. They must figure out what happened in relation to each allegation in a case. After that, they arrange for services to help children and their families.

The job is not easy, and caseworkers often burn out quickly. People come into protective services thinking they are going to change the world, but they soon realize their sphere of influence does not encompass the world. Caseworkers must take heart in everyday successes like convincing an abusive parent to accept anger management classes or putting in place an effective safety plan.

Recreation Coordinator

Municipal-level recreation coordinators run sports leagues and supervise other activities.
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Recreation coordinators often work with two distinct populations -- children and senior citizens. When working with children, recreation coordinators run sports leagues and supervise other recreational activities. Common tasks include organizing teams, collecting fees, scheduling events, recruiting volunteers and refereeing games.

Much of their work time happens during evenings and on weekends since children are in school during the day and most parents workdays. Games and other competitions happen at night and on Saturdays.

In the summer, recreation coordinators supervise children at day camps. They spend a significant amount of time outside in the elements. Hydration and sun protection are essential.

Juvenile Correctional Officer

Working in a Juvenile Detention Center with incarcerated youths can be rewarding.
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Juvenile correctional officers perform the dangerous work of monitoring incarcerated youths. Officers must maintain a keen awareness of their surroundings. One lapse in attention can make the difference between averting an attack or dying by one. Youth may not have the training and weaponry juvenile correctional officers have, but they do have hours upon hours to plan violent acts to commit against fellow inmates and officers.

Turnover among juvenile correctional officers is high. Dangerous working conditions combined with low pay drive many away from the job quickly.

School Cafeteria Worker

Cafeteria work is a county-level, Department of Education position that helps students.
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While teaching school is a great job for people who want to go into the education field, there are plenty of other jobs working in schools that do not involve lesson plans. One of those jobs is a school cafeteria worker. People in this role interact with children but do not have to monitor them all day. It is a good job for people who want to be around children but do not have the aptitude or desire to teach.

School cafeteria workers plan breakfast and lunch menus, prepare the food and serve it. Besides tasks directly related to food preparation and storage, workers clean the dining room, transact sales and observe children during their breakfast and lunch periods.

Bus Driver

School bus driving is a county-level, Department of Education position that helps students.
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Bus drivers work for school districts transporting children from their neighborhoods to their schools and back again. Drivers' primary objective is to transport the children safely. It means driving defensively while keeping an eye on the rearview mirror watching for bad behavior like fighting and bullying. Drivers can also work for public transit systems. 

Drinking on the job is never okay for a public servant, but doing so can cost a bus driver more than his or her job. Bus drivers who drink on the job can be arrested, and their commercial driver’s licenses can be suspended.

Crossing Guard

Crossing guard is a county-level position that helps students.
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Crossing guards are positioned around schools to help children safely cross streets. Armed with fluorescent vests and stop signs on sticks, crossing guards watch vehicular and pedestrian traffic to keep everyone around safe. The bright colors of the vests and stop signs help drivers see the crossing guards.

When children and parents need to cross a street, crossing guards make sure vehicles have stopped before pedestrians enter the traffic lanes. Crossing guards walk to the middle of a crosswalk with their stop signs raised as pedestrians proceed. They do not leave the intersection until all pedestrians have safely made it across the street.

On occasion, crossing guards must confront discipline problems. Unless the activity puts students in immediate danger, they merely report the misbehavior to school officials who address it.