I’ve been in my new job three weeks now and I feel like I’ve been there forever. I’m working as an Early childhood educator in a kindergarten program. I’ve been hired in to do early Intervention for children. I will work with the Kindergarteners as well as two Grade 1 classes. I love that I can use my education. Before I came to the school system I worked in Early Childhood Education for 30 years. I loved working with young children but I wanted to work with children who needed extra help. I did a contract with a boy who had a brain injury for two and a half years but got no sick time, only 4% holiday pay, no benefits. I worked harder than Anyone and got paid a low wage. I left to become an Educational assistant last year. That’s a job that does not get the Recognition it should. It’s a very eye opening job and can be really tough on you physically.
This is one of the few places in my career as an ECE that I’m reconized for the work I’m doing. In my job I help young children with literacy, numeracy and social emotional. With the experience in my education I get to see things in the children that otherwise could get missed. I’m a very observant Person so when issues have arised I discussed them with the teacher I work with. Then together we work on solutions for each child.
One of the things I often see in the children is if they are hungry or if food is really important to them. Like I’ve said before if your hungry how are you supposed to be able to concentrate on anything let alone be expected to listen to what the teacher is asking you. Hunger is often missed by adults but there are signs that tip me off that they are hungry. One of the children says they are hungry lots but even if they have had breakfast food is very important to them. So for that child they eat when they come to school we both noticed the child settles in better, becomes calmer and is able to listen to what is asked of them. The teacher I worked me told me she would never have thought about food as an issue. I told her as a child who came to school hungry I know full well what hunger is like and learning is impossible.
I also see the signs of children with stress and anxiety in their lives. One of the children goes to the bathroom everytime we have a transition. They got checked out medically to make sure it was not a medical issue. I talked to the teacher about when it happens. It’s not just transitions, it’s also if the child feels they can’t control a situation. I also observed how easily they got frustrated and angry again when things seemed out of their control. I knew early on it was a child who has stress and anxiety. Both of these issues I’ve had lots of experience with as being a child who grew up hungry and I had piles of stress in my life. My life experiences have helped me so much in helping these children.
I spend lots of time with all the children and I love doing the small groups I get to do with them twice a week. It’s called talking tables and it’s helping children with literacy skills. I get to work on topics with them with songs, games and helping them recognize objects with words. I work with two kindergarten classes both in my cohort and I love helping each class learn. I love that when they are upset or sad or just need help with something I can sit down with them and help them work through their emotions. I finally found the right job for me. I have an amazing kindergarten teacher who I’ve learned so much from already. We have become a good team. By the time the school year is over this year I will have worked with four kindie classes, one kindie /grade 1 split class and another grade 1 class.