I am lucky to do what I do. I am a childcare educator and yes I am still working. Schools may be closed but daycare is not. Day care is open so that doctors, nurses, police, fire, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, EMTs, bankers, gas station employees, small corner store employees, all these essential workers who still need to go to work have a place for their children. They come to us. Your local daycare. They come to the teachers who open their hearts and minds to creating a happy, safe, and loving place for them to spend the day.
But like everything else things inside our halls have changed. Outside times are extended because their aren't as many classes who need to go outside. The numbers in our classrooms have shrunk and your child's normal teacher may not be there everyday, she may not be there at all. Mom or Dad isn't walking you to your classroom, you're hug is short and at the very front door, a teacher, your director, an aid walks you to your classroom. The teachers wear masks and sometimes it's scary. You're friends aren't there with you, you aren't in your own classroom, nothing about this is normal. Yet the teacher still sings the hello song, she still prepares an art project for her students, she still gives every ounce of her heart to what she does.She still treats every child in her care as if they have always been there. Her heart is so big. She is a hero.
Childcare workers are on the front lines. They are part of this amazing group of people right now who are striving above and beyond their calling. They deserve to be thanked, they deserve to be appreciated. They deserve things like hazard pay and recognition from their state officials. They deserve to feel immense love and solidarity their communities. They are our front line. Childcare programs have a way of slipping through the cracks, we need to remember them during this time of uncertainty. They are heroes and they deserve to hear it. So the next time you see a childcare teacher thank them. If you ever had your child in childcare you know the beauty of the bond that teacher makes with your child. You see the love they have for their class and the passion they have to molding tiny minds. You feel how invested they are in what they do. So thank them for continuing that amazing process during these uncertain time. Thank them for risking themselves for the safety of our children.
So, Thank you for being a childcare educator. Thank you for smiling and singing. Embracing your inner Mary Poppins. Finding some kind of light in this darkness. Thank you for finding love, patience, compassion, kindness and sharing it with your students. Thank you for making a bird craft or showing my child how to play hop scotch. Thank you for trying to create some kind of normalcy when everything isn't normal. I know my fellow childcare educators are tired. I know you are struggling to keep your smile. Just remember the job you do is so much bigger than it seems. You are a tree and the world is a hurricane. Your roots are strong and you just have to stay grounded. Take that extra deep breath, buy that extra cup of coffee. You deserve all of it and more. Write down your small victories, acknowledge all the good that you are creating. You are a hero and now it's time to help save the world.