3 Major Reasons Teachers AREN'T Babysitters!
Don’t ever call a teacher a babysitter.
By now, you’d think that anyone who can conduct a science experiment, prepare a snack, read a book, wipe tears, boogers, and bottoms, give a hug, design an art project, check for literacy comprehension, and apply dual language skills, all in a day’s work would be hailed as a hero. Unfortunately, that just still isn’t the case!
Early education teachers are among some of the hardest workers on the planet! Killing two birds with one stone as a caregiver and an educator can be exhausting. So where’s all of the much deserved recognition and esteem?
While none of us go into teaching for the accolades or money (ha!), it WOULD be nice to be recognized for the critical and valuable work we do. But some of us will never get it, and even worse, you might be referred to as a “babysitter.” If only we were paid as well as babysitters! Not that there’s anything wrong with babysitters either (and maybe a lot of us ARE babysitters in our free time) but while we’re in our classroom, we’re hard working educators that deserve to be taken seriously!
Next time anyone tries to knock you as a “glorified babysitter”, feel free to tell them you’re playing a key role in a child’s development during their most critical years, when their brain is making more connections than it will during their entire life!
1.) We are PROFESSIONALS
Just because we’re not wearing a power suit doesn’t mean we aren’t the best at what we do. Early Education teachers are required to constantly maintain and increase their knowledge base and level of professionalism. On top of already strict credentials required to work with children, we’re always seeking opportunities for continuing education in a multitude of dynamic areas such as emotional and cognitive development, science, school readiness, health, wellness, dual language, literacy, and more. We are professionals at understanding how children grow, think, learn, play, and develop. We are professionals at creating a nurturing, loving, structured environment for children to thrive. We are professionals at dealing with the emotional ups and downs, the calm and the chaos, the quiet and the loud, the frustrations and rewards, and that’s just in one afternoon!
2.) We DON’T just play all day
In fact, we NEVER just play all day, and when we do play, fundamental and essential learning and developing is taking place. There’s a reason children are using tweezers to move cotton balls from one egg carton to the next, and that reason is critical fine motor development. There’s a reason we’re “pretending” to cook in the play kitchen, and that reason is picking up and practicing important life skills. We aren’t just “Going on a bear hunt!” for fun! Dramatic play helps children mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments. Toys and games that seem silly to adults, are actually quite significant for a child. Even doing something as simple as pouring water from one cup to another in a water table strengthens problem solving, and learning cause and effect.
3.) We create lasting CHANGE
When was the last time you heard anyone say they don’t remember any of their teachers? We’re guessing never, and that’s because educators leave long lasting, positive impression on their students and communities. It’s a fact that children and their families thrive when they have access to great schools and strong educators. Our youngest children need the highest quality of education right from the very beginning. From the time a baby is born, to right around age 5, their brain develops more than at any other time in life. This crucial development period has long lasting impact on a child’s ability to succeed and learn throughout their entire lives. The quality of a child’s classroom experiences in the first few years of life (whether good or bad) actually have a tremendous effect on their brain development. This is why Early childhood (and all) teachers are an investment in our future, and certainly not to be overlooked!