This I Believe
When I was a little girl I went to preschool where my grandma worked. I would watch and listen to her in the next room over as she sang to babies, painted fingers and toes, helped them hold forks, and read many stories. She did these little, simple things day after day, happily and graciously. I would tell myself “I can’t wait to be a teacher too.” As I grew up I told family and friends my goals to work with young children and their response was always “you want to work in a daycare?” I just shrugged my shoulders because I always knew that working in a daycare was real and serious work. I shrugged my shoulders because I knew that I would be building up the next generation of humans. I knew that early childhood education was just as significant as a profession as a teacher of any grade.
The day I turned 18 I began to work as an assistant teacher in a preschool. I watched in awe as my lead teacher did everything and anything. There was nothing that went unmissed or unseen. She was, well, a professional… professional. She crafted new lessons and activities daily, her creativity and attention to detail was intense. During free play she snuck in math, science, and literacy skills because only an early childhood professional could make learning so engaging and fun for children.
During my time in college, I was able to dive deeper into this career I had fallen in love with. I was learning about how to plan real life experiences for children in a classroom. These experiences would help them develop in math, science, reading, and critical thinking just like the lead teacher I had first worked with had done. It was during this time, I learned that the most development happens in the first 5 years of life! How exciting that professionals in this field have such a powerful impact and are trusted during such a vital time.
Through out my college education I learned further about an early educator’s duties to children’s families and how this played such a huge role in their education and growth. I learned how these teachers work to constantly provide equity to every child every time. College had showed me that my learning will never end because research and discovery about children and their brains, bodies, and development never ends. And as a professional in the field, I have committed to always continue my learning.
Now, while I work in my own classroom, I think about all the lead teachers and professionals I have had the opportunity to learn from. How they managed the observations, assessments, lessons, family communications, goal sharing, the list could go on. I am inspired by those professionals who have spent time dedicating their learning and influence for the young children of this world. The learning is never ending and that is okay because we are teaching and building future leaders. I believe that early childhood educators are professionals.