Wednesday, June 25, 2014


At the first center I worked at they had the toddlers (age 12-24 months) separated into younger and older toddler classrooms. The younger toddler room was 12-18 months and the older toddler room was 18-24 months. Each teacher in both classes was referred to as the primary caregiver of some of the children in the class. For example the ratio for toddlers in the state this center was located in was 1:5 which meant there was one adult to five children. The primary caregiver of these children changed the diapers, took care of the children when they were hurt, talked to the parents etc. However, we as the teachers also helped take care of all of the children. For example, if someone was at the changing table changing a diaper and another child had a diaper that needed to be changed the person at the changing table would go ahead and change the child's diaper regardless of whether they were the primary caregiver or not. It's how we worked as a team.

One day I was outside on the playground and one of the co-teachers of the older toddler classroom was leaning up against the wall of the building. She hollered at me across the playground and when I went over there she pointed to one of my primary children and said, "Child has a runny nose." I said, "Then wipe it please, the tissues are right behind you," and I walked away. (The tissues were literally right behind her sitting on the window seal).

She was furious at me and went and complained to the assistant director. The assistant director pulled me and my co-worker into the break room and asked what was going on. I told her everything was fine. My co-worker went ballistic. She started screaming at me and telling the assistant director how she had called me across the playground and told me that one of my primary children had a runny nose and how I told her to wipe it and how it wasn't her responsibility because the child wasn't one of her primary children. The assistant director looked at me like 'she has got to be kidding,' but said, "Is that what happened?
"Have you ever wiped the nose of any of the children in the other class?"
"K. Well this is what's going to happen. If any of the teachers from either class see a child from either classroom who needs to have their nose wiped they're going to wipe that child's nose. It doesn't matter who their primary caregiver is. Do both of you agree?"
Me: "Yes."
Co-worker- "Fine."

She was furious with me! However, the fact that she wouldn't wipe the child's nose and called me from across the playground to do it was petty, childish and unprofessional.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


At the first center I worked at there was a co-worker I worked with who constantly gossiped. It happened in her classroom, on the playground, during her lunch break... One day she was on the playground talking in her little group when I happened to walk by because I was cleaning up toys before going inside. I heard her say, "Well, that settles it, Friday we'll have a teacher day." How this was any different than any other day I don't know...

If something happened at the center, you would know about it within minutes. She would either come into your classroom and tell you what happened or she would open the door, tell what happened and move on. It depended on the type of news and how quickly she wanted it known.

One day I finished changing a diaper and was on my way across the room to help settle the children down for nap. As I got to the door she opened it and said, "Did you hear?"
About this time I was walking by the door and said, "I don't care," and closed the door.
My co-teacher started to laugh and said, "You should have seen her face."
"Co-teacher, I honestly don't care. My life doesn't revolve around what happens within these walls."
"I know."

This center particularly had a big problem with gossip. I know gossip happens in any business setting but this was the worst I've ever experienced. This co-teacher is one of the worst I've ever worked with. It drove me crazy and I knew all kinds of things I didn't want to know and thought were private. I've always worked in any business I've worked in with the goal of keeping my private life separate from my professional.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

occupational hazard

One day when I got home from work I was making dinner. My daughter was sitting on the couch reading when I asked her to do something. Normally when she's reading and I ask her to do something she just finishes the paragraph she's reading and then she'll go do what I asked. This means she usually does what I ask fairly quickly. This time she decided to finish the page before she went to do what I asked. This also meant it was taking her longer than normal to go do what I asked. So after a few minutes, when she wasn't going to do what I asked, I peeked around the corner, "Daughter, listen to my words. Go do this please." She was standing up by then and just stopped and looked at me. "I am, I heard you and I'm not one of your little kids."
I let this connect and then I laughed. "Sorry. Occupational hazard."

This is an occupational hazard because all day long when I'm working with the little children I work with I say many times a day either, "Listen to my words," or "Listen to your friends words. They don't like that." It was bound to come out at home at some point...