“Oh I could never do that! I don’t know how you do that every day. Aren’t you constantly tired?” These are the questions that always seem to pop up when I tell people that I spend my days teaching toddlers aka adorable, crazy, tiny humans.
My answer to these responses is always the same. When people say that they could never do what I do, I respond with that this job is not for everyone. You need to have a lot of patience, a lot of love, and the ability to sing “Wheels on the Bus” 30 times a day. To the people who can’t believe that I do it every day, they don’t see the smiles I see or hear the little laughs that I do. To answer the question about if I am always tired… Yes I am, that is what coffee is for.
I am going to go over an overview of what my day is like, and if you are interested in the career of early childhood education then I am more than happy to answer any questions you have!
When I arrive in the morning, I have to make sure that I already have coffee in my system because I have to jump right into my day most of the time. The mornings are my favorite part of the day because I walk into a classroom full of smiles and little one-year-olds running up to me and saying “hi!”. During this time I make sure the activities are prepped for the day, I double-check that the children are stocked on wipes, diapers, and clothes, and I check my emails.
This is the time when most of my teaching and activities take place. We have a morning circle time when we sing songs, dance, and read books. We practice counting to five, learning our colors, and rocking out to some old school children CDs. If the weather is nice, then we head outside to burn off some energy.
Time for that second cup of coffee! Which I am going to need so I have the energy to handle lunchtime. When I’m prepping plates, I am also trying to keep the children calm and entertained while singing their favorite songs. Once lunch is served, I love sitting with the children and just watching their facial expressions when they eat the food. Their faces are so expressive, they just crack me up!
Once I am able to get the kids down for a nap, then this is my “go time”. Throughout the day I write up a to-do list and I have roughly two hours to get everything done. I reset the classroom, so it is ready for afternoon playtime, I clean up from lunch, type up a lesson plan for the following week, send out emails, make sure forms are up to date, and any other things I need to get done.
If it has been a crazy day, then a third cup of coffee may or may not take place. I’m an addict, I know. The afternoon is full of laughter, music, dancing, and children waiting by the door. The end of the day is one of my favorite moments of the day because I love seeing the reunion between child and parent. The way that the parents hold their arms open to the little child smiling wide and running to them as fast as they can. It is just a sweet sight to see. Before the family leaves for the day, I give them a quick rundown on their child’s day and let them know that I look forward to seeing them the next day!
There are definitely some very challenging days that completely drain me and make me question how much more I can take. As much as those days wear me out, the good days are so unbelievably rewarding that it makes up for all the bad days. The smiles, hugs, and laughter are my reality just as much as the tantrums, teething, and smelly diapers. Not everyone was born to be a teacher for toddlers, but I am so glad that I was. I am so incredibly lucky.