- I never really quite understood just how obsessed kids are with Frozen until I worked in a daycare with 3-4 year olds. I adore that movie, I really do. But I have to temporarily break up with it. Why, you may ask... I have heard "Let It Go" and "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" belted out at the top of small lungs from the hours of 7:15-4:30 each and every day. There is always someone singing it, and it doesn't matter the current situation or place they are in. It can be at the table while we are eating. It can be while they are playing in different areas of the classroom or playground. ANNNND it's also in the bathroom. Like when they just go in quick. I have heard "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" belted out while they use the bathroom. Yea...I need a break form that one for awhile.
- Kids are obsessed with the following names: Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff. They name all of their stuffed animals, barbies, and make believe names after them. They reenact the entire movie if they can get away with it. But I have started to believe that these are the only names that the kids know. They like Olaf...but it's apparently just not as good.
- They are all convinced that Sven is a moose. Yea...good luck trying to tell them that he is a reindeer and not a moose. I think these children really need to start identifying animals more often.
- They also confuse a lot of the plot up. Like who is actually who. They have had this argument going for the two weeks leading up to my last day about who actually sings "Let It Go." Really?? I thought it was pretty obvious that it was Elsa, the Ice Queen, that sang it. Well this turns into a full blown argument that apparently no one is winning.
- They don't actually know all the words to the songs that they sing. They typically are singing random words that pop into their head or just sounds that kind of sound like the word.
- They make up their own rules for EVERYTHING. There were some memory games that I have played many times with these kids, and each one had their own set of rules. I honestly don't even know all the rules and could not tell you how they tried to get me to play. All I know is that when I tried to lay them all out and take turns matching they yelled "Ms. Emily!!! That's not right!" One day a volunteer showed them the right way, so I thought maybe I was in the clear, but it was obvious that they were just pretending they thought she was right. There is seriously no way to tell them that they are wrong.
- I had a kid walk up to me one day. I say walked, but really he creepily snuck up on me. He then used the creepiest voice possible (I have no idea if that was intentional or not) and said "I like to jump. Do you like to jump?" Yea...and then before I could answer he ran away. I hope you are reading that in a super creepy voice. And yes, he giggled as he ran away.
- This was one of my favorite moments. It's one of those moments that the kids has no clue what they are saying but they laugh it off like they knew all along and only the two teachers in the room are laughing. Yes, it was good. Background: the kids don't listen. Like at all. We were working on getting some things put into place, some behavior management, that really wasn't working TOO well but slowly improving things. Well, we were having a talk with them. We were telling them our plan for the day and we were asking them how to make good choices and all of that. It was part of the required group time. Well it was pretty quiet and all of the sudden one of the girls sneezes...like super loud. And before we can say anything she yells in a sassy voice "Bless me!" Yea....I was dying. She just basically thought she was saying what you were supposed to say after a sneeze but clearly did not realize that we do not say that about ourselves. Well she laughed it off because she knew we thought she was funny and the rest of the kids kind of giggled awkwardly because they were confused. Yes, it was pretty funny.
- One of the girls told me it takes her mom 7 minutes to do their laundry. I really want to know where her mom learned that impressive skill.
Yes, my experience at the daycare wasn't ALL bad. There were moments, glimmers of hope, that kind of had me hanging on as long as I did (which still wasn't as long as I had intended). In the end there were issues with myself not really clicking into a role that I feel needs someone to click in plus issues with how things were run etc. But...I do have a really cool moment (which was followed by horrible realizations and such).
The kids are allowed to bring in toys of their own. They really don't get to play with them for a good portion of the day, but before breakfast they get to. Kids typically brought in books, cars, stuffed animals, barbies...the usual (though one time a kid brought in user manuals for some of his games...yea, he was a hilarious child that I will miss). Well one day a girl brought in her picture bibles. It was honestly the cutest thing I have ever heard. I think her mom was a little unsure about her bringing those in since the center doesn't really allow for any sort of religious affiliation. She told me that she and her daughter had started going to church recently and she begged and begged to bring in these bibles. It was seriously one of the most adorable and heart-warming things I have ever seen. She was just in love with them and was so excited to show them off to her friends and to tell them the different things she's learned with them. Unfortunately, there is this no religious affiliation part of the center. I totally understand that. I mean I had assumed that we weren't supposed to teach that kind of stuff to the kids, and I was ok with that. But they were SO negative towards it. Like my first day we were just looking through stuff and each time a reference to God or anything like that was made in a book the assistant teacher in my room would make a big deal about it and essentially throw it in the garbage. First off, someone could have wanted that book. Secondly, I was a bit upset about that. I was a bit upset about how adamant they were about not showing any of these things to the kids. So...back to the girl with the bibles. The substitute teacher that was in the room with me went over to look at what she was showing her friends and gave a super dirty look and said "you need to put that away" in the most demeaning sort of way. Like that these books that this little girl loved so much and was showing to her friends was not important at all. She started to cry. Thankfully it was time to put things away and move on anyway, so that was the reasoning I gave her for needing to put them away, but it just kind of hurt me to see that. God is the one thing they cannot mention in the classroom and cannot believe in. But the Easter Bunny is cool I guess. The Tooth Fair is too (though the kids aren't really losing their teeth yet). Santa...he's a big one. And these are ridiculous things to let the kids believe in. The center can talk about those all they want but they totally dismiss God. This is one of those things that I didn't want to be a part of. I can't say this was my deciding moment. It definitely was not, there were so many other factors. But this was one of those moments where it was clear to me that I could not teach these kids in the way I had believed. I'm not saying I was going to preach to them, but I also would not deny them these things. This was hard for me. Very hard. And I pray for that little girl every day. I pray that she keeps reading and keeps going to church.
So yea... that's a bit of my life the last couple of months. I have no regrets quitting my job. It was 100% the right thing to do (though getting a steady paycheck would have been nice). This job is not one that you stay at for the money. You have to love the kids. You have to love what you are doing. You have to know that you are going to teach them and make a difference in their lives. I did not feel like I could do that in this environment. It was a very negative environment that shot down beliefs. I did not love what I was doing, at all. I felt like I was constantly yelling at the kids and that killed me. I did like the kids, and I feel bad that I couldn't do more for them. But it was obvious that there is someone better out there for that job and I pray that they find that person.