Glorified Babysitters

Teaching is really more than a job, it’s a service. Teaching and serving families takes passion, energy, time, understanding, and love.

I have struggled in my 12+ years as an Early Childhood Teacher in how other people see what I do. My first several years after college were in a Child Care Center, as have the past few. Some people very close to me made me feel like it wasn’t a “real” job. I don’t think some people understand that the teachers in a Center aren’t just “glorified babysitters.” When I got a job teaching in the School District, suddenly my job became more respectable to people who previously poo-poo’d it! It was as though I was finally a “real” teacher! I will admit, there are benefits to having a job in the School District, but my actual job was not very different from what I had been doing other years. The core of my responsibility was the same, I just had additional things that were required in our curriculum…

Over-all, Early Childhood Teachers (birth -PreK and up) have the same goals in mind. We work very hard to help guide children to grow and develop. We plan lessons, art projects, and activities to allow children to explore, create, and learn social skills. We create environments in which children can learn more about the world around them and how things work. We help children build self-esteem. We do our best to help families keep children healthy and safe…

One amazing thing about children is that they learn in whatever they are doing! If they are “playing” in the sand box, they are developing fine motor skills by scooping and dumping, they are learning about volume as they discover how much sand can fit in their bucket, they are even learning engineering skills as they create the biggest, best sandcastle ever!

I think it’s a little funny when people ask the age old question, “What do you do?” When I tell them I work in child care, their response is “Oh”… often with that look as if they are sorry or ashamed for me. What’s funny to me, is that those are the same people that spend a short time in our classrooms, and say, “I could NEVER do what you do!”

Whether you are talking to an Early Childhood Teacher in a Child Care Center, or in the School District, we are educated professionals helping shape the world for young children, and preparing them for future successes in school and in life!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristi S
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 03:23:08

    I take my hat off to you!! Did you read my blog post this morning??!! Wondering if I will survive teaching kindergarteners this year!!


  2. Molly Lee
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 15:08:25

    Amen sista! and you (and your co-workers) do such a great job of it!


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