WE NEED TO DO BETTER: VALUING OUR ZERO TO THREE EDUCATORS
"Please hear me when I say that you are doing the most important work. You are teaching tiny humans what trust, empathy, compassion, and love feel like."
I was fortunate enough to spend some time with a wonderful group of infant and toddler teachers in Hillsborough North Carolina last month. This visit was part of my ongoing research into what types of professional development opportunities would be most beneficial for zero to three teachers. Our conversations were both eye-opening and heartbreaking at the same time.
One sentiment that I’ve heard echoed from infant and toddler teachers across the country is that they don’t feel valued by their peers, administrators or classroom parents. This is a feeling that I know all too well. During my time as a toddler teacher it was hard for me to see the connection between being a caregiver and an early childhood educator. I spent my days changing diapers, redirecting, settling big feelings and tidying up. If I couldn’t see my value as an educator then how would anyone else? It took years of reflecting and researching before I truly understood the importance of the work I was doing each day.