Sometimes as an early childhood educator, you can get discouraged in your job. There can be dark moments when you ask yourself whether you’re making a difference in these kids’ lives or if you’re nothing more than a glorified babysitter. Be still and take a moment to reflect on why you chose to get into this profession in the first place. You have a passion for children and are absolutely making a difference.
Whether you work at a facility like Kindercare or at one of the private schools in Redmond WA, what you are doing is quietly changing lives. These tiny people feel comfortable with you and you are teaching them life skills. They might be too young to learn skills like writing in cursive or doing multiplication, but you are turning them into students. Even the smallest of triumphs should be celebrated.
- Seeing the class walk in a straight, quiet line for the first time is as much a victory as anything else. Note these changes; it proves that you are working magic!
- The morning routine in itself is a win. Look at how your students know what to do when they first enter the classroom: hang up their own jacket, wash their hands and sit with the rest of the group. Did they know how to do that before they met you?
- Remember social changes too: The little one who finally stopped crying every time her parents dropped her off, or the once-terrified twins who are now able to play separately. You are creating a safe, secure environment for the littlest students in the country, even if the impact is seen in subtle ways.
When you feel the darkness threatening to overtake you, look around your classroom and consider all the small things you do that end up making a big difference. Don’t doubt yourself or question your place. You are doing the best you can do, and your students are growing thanks to you.