Thursday, November 21, 2013

the fabulous four

I've only worked with four people who have known that professionalism is a part of any job. The first one that I worked with was a lady at the first center I worked at. She was an older lady and we got along really well. She understood that just because we were dealing with children every day didn't mean we had to act like them. We had our fun and the children made us laugh almost daily. However, she also understood that I was lead teacher and she was the co-teacher and respected that. She never tried to cross the line and do my job or tell me how to do it. She knew she could voice her suggestions and did and that I would listen to them and did. She never pulled a "I'm older than you, I know what I'm doing and you need to  listen to me." We respected one another and worked side by side.

The other three co-workers I worked with who knew what professionalism is were at the second center I worked at. There was a lady who was the lead teacher of the toddler program there at that center, her co-teacher, and mine. We all understood who the lead teacher of the program was and we respected her, didn't try to step on her toes or over rule her. She knew what she was doing and you could easily see why she was the lead teacher. She would give suggestions when needed but never pulled rank. She worked side-by-side with us and I learned a lot from her.

These women didn't need to be trained, they didn't need someone standing over them telling them how to do their job, they never had anything to prove and they constantly proved that they knew what they were doing. When they called someone out on doing something that should have been dealt with differently they did it kindly. They gave suggestions not orders. This is how I have always tried to run my classroom as well-to give suggestions not orders. Lets try this, lets do it this way, what do you think we should do? Because of this the only people I've not gotten along with are the ones who come into the classroom with something to prove. Those co-workers who come in there and have to prove they have the knowledge they have and that they are just as smart as you. They start giving orders of what to change, why and how as soon as they walk in the room.  They let you know that they disapprove of the way you do things yet my classroom has always been one that has never gotten complaints from the parents.

These four women knew how to talk to the parents and never crossed the line of giving out information to the parents they shouldn't have. They had professional relationships with the parents and like me kept their professional lives separate from their personal lives. These women made it worth going to work. Usually you go for the children not the co-workers because of all the drama the co-workers bring to work. These women didn't bring that and as a result going to work wasn't something I had to do but wanted to do. These women were a joy to work with and I enjoyed working with all of them. When you work with people who are professional it makes a big difference and the environment is completely different. It makes getting your job done easier. A professional environment can always be recognized and it starts at the administration level and works its way down.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


After having a child in your classroom for a year it makes the time when they move up to the next classroom hard. You establish a bond with these children and have seen them grow and change. You come to love these children. Some get in a little deeper than others do though. It's not because you treat them differently or anything specific happens to make the bond with a child deeper than what you have with others-there are just some children you have a stronger bond with than others. As these children move up to the next class sometimes you cry. At least I do. It's hard to let these children grow up and do it without you. You've been their teacher for a year and they've been a part of your life for a year. For that to change is sometimes hard. I have cried many times when children moved up to the next class.

At the second center I worked at I was getting ready to have one of the children who was in my primary caregiver group move up. Each teacher in a classroom has primary children. They are the ones you diaper, speak to the parents, call parents when their sick etc. This particular child started in my room at ten months instead of 12. The center didn't see the point of putting her in infants for two months and then having another transition take place so they just started her in toddlers with me. This meant she had been with me for a year and two months when it came time for her to transition up to two's.

When the week came for her to transition she was doing well. However, the day during transition week that she was supposed to stay through nap time she was having a hard time. One of the teachers came and got me and asked me if I could help. I went in there and sat beside her mat and she was just crying. I spoke to her for a few minutes and got her to calm down and then sat with her until she started to drift. The next day when it came time to take her over to two's to visit she had a hard time. I had to pick her up and carry her into the room because she wouldn't walk over once she knew where we were going. When it came time to give her to the teacher she held onto me really tightly and wouldn't let go. I finally had to pry her off of me and leave the room. When I got back into my room I was trying to hold it together so I wouldn't start crying. When my co-teacher asked me if I was ok I just started crying. At that point the director had come in to give us some information and I left the room long enough to get it together. When I walked back into the room my co-teacher was laughing at me. I told her, "just wait until it's your turn and it's one of your children moving up." She said, "Nope won't happen to me. I don't get that emotional over my children."

She ate her words a few months later. She and one of the children that was in her primary group had a strong bond. When it came time for her to move up my co-teacher was valiant and strong. She would not cry she said. On Friday when she walked her over that morning to spend the day and be picked up there she was very brave. All day long she was quiet and I let her be. However, toward the end of the day I noticed she was standing by the wall, quiet and I saw her wipe her cheek.
 I asked, "Are you crying?"
 "Now I know how you feel Taryn and I will never make fun of you again when one of your primary kids move up and you cry."
 I started laughing.
She said, "Don't you say a word and don't you tell the other teachers in the toddler program."
 "I won't." I didn't either. This day will and who this co-teacher is will die with me. Sometimes you just have to cry.