growinghumans


My Job
November 9, 2015, 10:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I want to talk about something I have never written about before.

I want to talk about my job.

I am a teacher.

I am a teacher in a classroom.

I am a teacher in a classroom full of 8 babies.

They are aged between 7 and 12 months, typically.

Each day I go to work and I take care of these 8 babies. I have done this job for 8 years. I have been in the same center, the same classroom, for 8 years.

Why haven’t you tried other age groups? Why not try to move up, professionally?

Because I’m good.
I’m a damn good infant teacher.

A baby day is different from any other age group. A baby day revolves around schedules and routine–any slight change in that routine, the baby will absolutely lose their mind. Guaranteed. If your baby is freaking out randomly about something one day, first thing–ask yourself what is different. That will be the issue.

I feed them, then I change them, then we play and sing songs. Then, somehow, I get them all to sleep. At the same time.

Some sleep for an hour and a half at a time.

Some sleep for 23 minutes at a time.

I don’t really care as long as they sleep.

Then, we get up. I change them again and feed them again. Then we play.

Then we nap. Again.

Babies can’t tell time. They can’t really control their emotions. They can’t communicate with adults. That’s where infant teachers come in. It is my job to supply a time table, a calm aura, and an understanding of what they need. It is my job.

I do

not

take this job lightly.

Parents, each morning for the last 8 years, have handed me their babies. Over and over again. Most cry, some don’t. I do not care if your child cries when you leave them with me. Most will stop as soon as they can no longer see you. If you have ever dropped off your child with me, you can attest to this. The drop off does not usually dictate the day.

But, sometimes, the crying doesn’t stop.

Sometimes, a child is a puzzle. What do you need to feel safe? To feel okay? To feel joy in my classroom? I can almost always figure it out and when I can’t, honestly, it’s because the parents are not preparing the child for success in child care.

If you only breastfeed your child and then hand them to me with 4 bottles, you are not preparing your child for success. If you co-sleep with your child on your physical body and then hand them to me expecting scheduled naps, you are not preparing your child for success.

I get attachment parenting–I totally get it and I am not speaking against it. But, if you want your child to be socialized in a care setting…give them the tools. If you walk around all day with your baby strapped to the front of your body and then want to know why they cry when their bum is on the floor, I am going to gently tell you why.

Babies.

Babies are little sponges. They only know what you give them. They will suck it up and understand it, but it’s only what you give them.

If your child needs me to take all of my kids out of my classroom every morning while they are getting dropped off and then introduce them one at a time, to lessen the stress, I will and I HAVE done it. But we all have to be on the same page.

This is a good job; I am doing something. I am helping these babies become people. I am helping these humans grow. They leave my classroom different, in so many ways, than when they entered the room.

They come in not even crawling and leave walking.

Being an infant teacher requires a certain level of sanity–you have to always be on your feet, you have to endure mass screaming, you deal with every single bodily fluid imaginable;

but, in the end, you watch caterpillars turn into butterflies.

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