Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Art of a Preschool Teacher

There is something about a preschool teacher that I just don't understand.

I was a teacher, and it is truly a thankless job. I see all the problems they are having with budgets on television, and it breaks my heart to see them with their picket signs because they are not protesting something they feel strongly about, they are protesting the thought of losing their job. A job that probably causes them much stress and many sleepless nights, a job that 50% of the parents in their class think they are doing wrong, and the other 50% just don't care or show it. A job that the amount of responsibility multiplies HOURLY! However, these teachers show up day in and day out performing their job to the BEST of their ability! I can't even imagine returning to this job. I used to say it was because of the 3 P's: parents, politics and paperwork-however, now I would say the 1:44 ratio is what would keep me FAR, FAR AWAY!

BUT. . .the preschool teacher is something TRULY unique. Whatever the regular teacher gets paid, divide it by 4, and multiply the prep work by 10! Jackson's teachers are there before the director, go home after everyone else, and they are ALWAYS ready with a smile. Every story is complete with details, each child WONDERFUL and nothing phases them. I am sure they understand just how important this is to the parents because they have children of their own, but how do you express your appreciation. These two particular ladies are NOT in it for the money, they are NOT in it for the gifts, and I am at a loss as to what I can do to express my gratitude! I am sure a note would be nice, but would they get that I REALLY mean the words I write? It is not just fluff.

Today, one of his teachers knew that I was DESPERATE to find another Sassy because we had Sassy on a schedule here, Jackson would sleep with her one night and the following day for nap, and then Tyler would sleep with her that night and the following day for nap. She went out over Easter Break, bought Tyler her own Sassy, sewed a bow in her hair, got her a different outfit and presented her to Tyler today! TYLER IS NOT EVEN IN HER CLASS, but the teacher is just soooooooo full of love. Tyler has not put that Sassy down since the second she got it. The teacher will not let me reimburse her, she wouldn't let me go buy one, she was sooooooo excited to do this for Tyler, and there was nothing I could do but give her a big hug before I left. She will never know that I don't hug, but I believe that hugs should be saved for special moments like this, moments where words cannot express the gratitude I feel! It makes it completely pain free to leave your child with someone as wonderful as the two of them. They don't read blogs, they will never see this, but for all those people out there who may have a thankless job, know that there is someone out there who appreciates what you are doing, as long as you are doing the same outstanding job these women do! THANKS LADIES for making this a completely remarkable year-I am so sad to see it coming to an end!


Katie Thomson said...

As a teacher, we wish there were more parents out there like you. I once heard someone say that the best teaching job would be at an orphanage. I totally agree with that 99% of the time since teachers just hear all the bad and not enough from the good.
I am definitely going to remember to praise Rylee's teachers...not just complain to them!

K to the M said...

You said this perfectly!! Also as a fellow teacher, I could never really see myself returning to the profession! Your so right that the ratio thing is getting ridiculous! I think you have done some great things to show Jackson's teachers they are appreciated! It makes me sad to see amazing teachers out there leaving the profession because of the 3
P's but they make it impossible to enjoy your job! I loved the picture of Tyler with her new Sassy! Adorable!

Short and Sweet said...

Colleen, thank you so much for praising the teaching profession and thinking so highly of the two teachers mentioned in your post. I taught school for 31 years...1 year of 4th, 23 years of 5th, and 7 years of 6th grade. That included countless parent/teacher conferences one of which stands out. A father came in for a conference and asked me, "What are you doing for my kid?" My response was, "What are YOU doing for your kid?" I guess that I had put up with enough at that point in my career, and I wasn't going to let one more parent make me think that I had to solve all his/her child's problems in one school year. I purposely let my certificate expire after my retirement because I couldn't see myself being a teacher of record again...I had enough!
Preschool teachers are indeed a breed of their own. They really do go above and beyond what is required on a daily basis. God bless them.
Oh, that parent I mentioned above was completely diffused by my question and the conference went quite well after he knew I wasn't going to put up with his attitude.
The stories I could tell.....