I meet a lot of people in my day to day life who can’t understand how Early Childhood Educators do the job they do. Quite often, there are comments like “how do you listen to these kids all day?” or “I couldn’t keep my patience!”. Most days, I will tell you that we have the best job in the world. We laugh a LOT, get the most amazing pictures to put up in my office or on the fridge, and I get hugs and cuddles all day! However, if I am being honest, not every day is full of rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes I DO go home and struggle with decisions that I made during the day, wondering if I said the right thing, or did the right thing, or could I have found a way to talk in a nicer voice after asking one of the children to please listen for the 100th time? Could I have been more caring for our staff? Could I have added something extra to our activities to make it more fun?
However, I truly believe that this job is special. We not only get to give hugs and cuddles, wipe away tears and be a comforter, see first steps and hear first words, but we also get to be a part of some of the most formative years of a child’s life. Many research studies show that “from birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more, and more rapidly, than at any other time in life. And while genetics plays a significant role, scientific research has made clear that the quality of a child’s experiences in the first few years of life – positive or negative – helps shape how their brain develops. And that these experiences have lasting impact on their health and ability to learn and succeed in school and in life” (www.firstthingsfirst.org). The things that children are learning in these first years will help set children up for success all throughout their lives, and we can teach them how to learn in school but also how to grow up being a great little human,
Some people think that childcare isn’t important, and that the work we are doing should be done by a family unit only. I would tell those people that we are never here to replace a parents role, but instead to support families while parents are busy working or taking care of all of the other things that need to happen during the week.
I grew up on a farm, hanging out with my brothers and my parents, being outside and never needing to attend a childcare centre. My first experience with school was getting on a bus and going to kindergarten. I had a wonderful childhood and I am thankful for it, but I know and love that not all families are the same! Had I been born 5 years later, maybe I would have gone to a childcare centre as things changed for us and my mom began to work outside our home. I really think that society has changed over the past 15+ years. I see a lot of homes with two working parents, more women joining the workforce (to contribute financially or simply because they find fulfillment in it), and families who are busy getting to all the things that make up this wild ride called life!
This past Spring, we were fortunate enough to work in partnership with SECA (Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association) to make a video in our Normanview location. I feel that this helps to express a small taste of why we do what we do, and why we are all so passionate about our jobs and the career we have chosen. We are so proud of how it turned out, and think we might have some little actors and actresses in the making! I am so proud of all of our Educators and families. We are definitely not perfect, but we are a team that wants to learn and grow, and we are so glad you are along for the ride with us! Teamwork really does make the dream work, so we hope you enjoy the video, and let us know what you think!