Whenever I tell people that I'm a daycare teacher, I get a lot of pity looks and a response somewhere along the lines of, "I could never do that." That's OK. Not everyone is made to do what I do. It takes an overwhelming amount of patience and understanding to spend all day, every day, with almost 40 kids. Sure, some people are just more apt to have a job like this, but just because you "could never" be a daycare teacher doesn't mean that I can't.
First things first, I love my job. I am happiest when I'm with "my kiddos" every day. They are the only reason I would get up at 5:30 in the morning every day of my summer vacation or spend the entire day walking around in scorching weather. But things weren't always that way.
When I was younger (yes, I know I'm still young but bear with me here), kids made me uncomfortable. I didn't know how to interact with anyone younger than me, and I might have had a panic attack if you told me I was going to be trapped in a room with kids for more than five minutes. Honestly, if someone looked at me and said that they were a daycare teacher, I would've looked right back and said, "I could never do that." But that's the amazing part: I never pictured myself doing what I do now.
I had no desire to be a daycare teacher. I never wanted to work with kids. In fact, I was planning to do quite the opposite. I was that person — the one who could never do something like this. But flash forward to now and I wouldn't trade my job for the world. This is my second year with these kids and the thought of summer ending and not getting to see them every day makes me really sad. You see, kids have this crazy way of latching on to you and no matter how big the mess is or how much they scream and fight, you just can't help but love them. They're kind of sneaky like that. I never expected to apply for a job like this. I never pictured myself enjoying this job so much that I would cry on my last day when I had to leave. But man am I glad that I decided to just go for it and step out of my comfort zone.
Maybe you aren't the type of person to work with kids, especially young ones, but neither was I. I challenge anyone reading this to spend more time hanging out with the kids who are a part of your life. They're better company than anyone gives them credit for and I bet you'll come out of it with a big smile on your face. Kids are small but I guarantee they'll leave the biggest imprint on your heart.
So don't discourage the teachers in your life. Don't discourage future educators. We need people like them that are willing to spend time with kids and teach them the tools they need to be successful. Be thankful that someone is willing to spend all day with your kids and love them almost as much as you do. Maybe you aren't made to be a daycare teacher, but I am and for that, I'm forever grateful.