This year has been a struggle. Being in a class with eight children in the birth to one years old age range has sped up the graying process easily about ten folds. This year I have found myself completely out of my element, totally unprepared for the havoc eight little individuals would rain down upon me. But I will say I’m surviving, and I will make it out alive. Yes, you heard right, early head start working on a twelve month year, not the regular ten month school year. I do have off two weeks at the end of August to look forward to.
My little ones have gone from barely mobile to extremely cunning escape artist. We start our day on the rug area of the classroom and with a quick turn of the head the pitter, patter of feet are heard racing across the hard title floor. Some of then will throw their arms up and surrender when called, but others, give chase as if being cheered on to keep running. During my lunch time I can be found in the employee lounge with a blanket or hoodie over my head taking a nap.
I will say the day has gotten slightly easier, but no matter what I seem to just as drained at the end. During the beginning of the year my focus was to soothe, and calm my babies and parents down. Believe you me, parents can and do suffer from severe separation anxiety. Sometimes more than the little ones. At the beginning I really had no time to think, just react to what my kids needed. The day was about feeding, diapering, cuddling them. One was sleeping another was crying another just wanted to be held it seemed to never stop. Imagine eight babies in the same age range with slightly different daily time clocks and who’s only means of communication is via crying.
But back to now. Gone are the cries for the most part, replaced with babbling, and gibberish, and ever increasing identifiable words. I try to make sense of these new sounds. Some times I swear they are saying actual words because they use them consistently. Maybe it’ in their native language, so I’m always talking to mom and dad to find out if what they maybe communicating maybe something that may know. Me and the kids are learning sign language together which has me back and fourth with parents who may believe their child may be using it at home. Many things are going on in my class, at times you can find me being the kids personal jungle gym. Other times I am left alone for a brief moment as they find some toy are other person who they find interesting. But let them fall, trip, or find themselves in the presence of a classroom visitor they don’t know and they will come running to me for safety and comfort. While I watch them play I am critically observing not just them but myself to ensure that I am assisting them with all their needs and also planning, how to help them reach that next mile stone just a tad bit faster.
I know some of my parents may find me a little extreme, but I tell them all the same thing. I am here for the children first and foremost, that I will always do what ever I can to assist. So I thank my parents who have put up with me, and also for entrusting me with their wonderful little ones.
Slight addition or else I may not have a good day at work tomorrow August 7th, 2012
For those who may or may not be aware, according to federal standards for early head start there can be no more than 4:1 ratio for teacher student. So with that being said, I have had the wonderful time working with Mrs. Miller who is also a teacher in OUR classroom. While we don’t separate our children we do inform our parents that when it comes to paper work with have specific children we are responsible for. Mrs. Miller and I have a great relationship in that we are always looking for ways to assist our little ones , and work with our parents. She also helps me since while my intentions are always good I have only been in classroom two years, and her years experience has helped me bunches. I had to add this as she saw the post and asked why there was no mention of her. Also she wanted me to clarify that I don’t always take a nap in the employee break room but I take them in the classroom closet. Of course during my lunch time!
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