As I'm reflecting on the summer we just had, I couldn't help but think about what I learned from the infants in my class. I am forever thankful for the opportunity I had because it challenged me in so many ways. I got sick a few times, but it was well worth it. You can't complain about receiving hugs from children every day. Here are a five (of many) lessons I learned while working at a daycare.
1. They absolutely love eating more than sleeping.
I couldn't get over how much food each of the children would eat all day. We had a routine that we followed, and they knew exactly when I was supposed to get out the afternoon snacks and Cheerios. If I was even five minutes late, I would hear cries across the entire room. If I was lucky that day, I wouldn't get food thrown at me either.
2. They love being held and will get jealous when another child is in your arms.
My favorite part about working at a daycare had to be all the hugs that I got. I would sit down with a book in my hand and all of the babies would come walking over to me. They all wanted to sit on my lap! Since I can only fit so many children on my lap, a few of them would get extremely upset if it wasn't them. I had to compromise and give them extra hugs a few minutes later.
3. Their smiles and laughs are extremely contagious.
There were many times throughout the day where I wanted to be mad at the children. All it took was one little smile to make me give in. I found myself smiling and laughing more than I ever had in my life. They made my heart melt one day at a time.
4. They might tear up some books, but they love being read to.
A class I took last semester at college put an emphasis on reading to children as early as you can. I would spend the majority of my day reading books to them because they genuinely liked looking at pictures and hearing different words. Some of these children were exceptionally smart, and I would even work on articulation with them. It was truly a learning experience for all of us.
5. We all need to have more fun in life.
There were so many days where I would put on some fun music for us to listen to the end of the day. Their faces would all light up when certain songs would come on, and it was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. I realized that as adults we don't spend enough time just having fun. You should put some tunes on and grab a friend to dance with this weekend.
These children have taught me more in just a few months than I could ever learn in a classroom. I learned that it is okay to be myself because someone will appreciate me for who I am, just like I appreciate all the kids I had an opportunity to work with. I will definitely have to go back and see how much they have grown next year.