June 23, 2011Leaving Early Childhood Education
I'm so glad to read the e-mail of the day: No More a Proponent of Day Care or Preschool
Posted by Staff at 12:00 AM
When I returned to college several years ago at age twenty six, I sat down with a counselor to help me choose a major. She noted I had several ECE (Early Childhood Education) courses and recommended I focus towards a degree in the ECE industry, so I did.
Three years later, I have many years of training and education in the ECE field and continue to major in ECE for a BA degree. Last fall I accepted my first Preschool teaching position. It was at a large scale Montessori curriculum based school. I was given the two year old class. I was shocked . . . What a joke trying to conceptualize Montessori techniques with two year olds (not developmentally appropriate/huge lack of socialization skill emphasis). I was instructed to re-do the classroom but not supplied with a materials budget. I was expected to pay for my own TB test, finger prints - $100.00, and to attend several Nevada required child workers' courses which were located fifty miles away, and I often had to purchase the classes out of pocket. Then I received my paycheck. Shockingly I was earning Nevada minimum wage. I made triple this waiting tables in diners. Not only was I underpaid but I had eight to twelve little toddlers in my care who all required a diaper changing every two hours. Do the math: twelve kids, every two hours for eight hours. I was changing up to forty eight diapers each day. As much as I cared for the children, its hard not to resent wiping ass methodically for minimum wage after all my years of school work, and experience. I was taught a diaper change is an opportunity to bond with a small child, it should be sweet and loving, not resented. Day cares and preschools, and day cares that disguise themselves as preschools are wrong. The industry needs to stop treating childcare with a for profit approach. The ones who suffer are the kids, and the employees.
After a month and a half, I woke up one morning and simply did not go back. It was turning my soul black. I immediately called an old employer who gave me a job as a Children's Ski School Coordinator, which made more than twice the "teaching" position. I also called my college and had my major changed to a Social Science degree. I want to get into government and advocate for children. I hope to never work in another day care/preschool again.