Thursday, February 25, 2010
So as most [all] you know I am in grad school. Well we are in a unit on EARLY literacy, in my Early Lit. class. Coincidence? Doubtful.
Well for this particular class, I had to go observe a toddler class at a child care center, to look at all the different modes for early literacy in a toddler class room.
I was reluctant, seeing as I have my very own toddler at home. Haha. But its for a grade & it was a chance to get out of the house for a few hours.
I chose to do my toddler observation at the learning center that is affiliated with my college.
Lets just say when I got there it was NOTHING like I was expecting.
**Sidebar... the following was not included in my observation critique that I turned in for a grade... this is all blog fodder for my lovely freders!! /end sidebar**
I was in the T1 room, these kids were 12-23mons of age- Minus one boy. He was 15 mons and in the INFANT room?
I was perplexed. -- Why was this TODDLER still in the infant room (Infants in child care are 6wks- 11 mons)? He came to the T1 room for snack, b/c they couldn't have solids in the infant room, and b/c the infant teacher used to teach toddlers for 22yrs (shes was 6mons from retirement) and thought he needed to socialize with other kids his own age; seeing as for the time being he was the ONLY one in the infant room. The other 2 children are 10 & 11 mons & are both sick.
I took it upon myself to ask his teacher. I figured I could ask just about anything, I was here 'learning' and they knew that and would prolly ask just about anything because of that.
Me: Ms. B, is it too forward if I was too ask why Samuel is still in your room?
Ms. B: No honey, he is in my care still, b/c of his mothers request, as you can see I think it is silly-
Me: Mother's request?
Ms. B: yes, apparently when he moved up to this class from infant he got hit on day 1, so she requested to the director he move back down.
[while she is telling me this story- Sam is in the middle of beating the crap out of Olivia w.a rubber hammer (!!!)]
Me: Is that so?
Ms. B: Apparently [while rolling her eyes]
Me: Well HE is beating Olivia with a hammer right now [points to the said action]
He is being held back socially by being in the infant room. It is terribly sad.
According to the director, who I spoke with before I left, told me by law he can ONLY be in there until they get another infant, which will be in 2 weeks. They will be getting a 5 month old and at that time they will be moving him to the MT [mixed toddlers] room. That room varies in age from 16mons- 3 yrs.
I was excited, after I got past my hesitation, to see how other toddlers act. It was nice to know that E is not the only one who has listening "issues".
Ethan hit Jade-- the teacher says to Ethan "Ethan we don't hit girls, please say you're sorry" (keep in mind these children are ALL under 2 yrs old, they barely talk, and if they do, it isn't well. Which surprised me b/c E talks very well & she isn't quiet 2 yet) Ethan mumbles something I am sure is supposed to be sorry and walks away... not longer then 3 minutes later he hit Lukas! In his defense, He did not hit a GIRL this time.
Miss Lisa should have said: "Ethan we don't hit our friends (thats what they call ALL of their classmates "friends"- as to not single anyone out) it's not very nice"
I am the only adult who saw him hit Lukas, so I walked over to the boys and I had a little quiet talk with them about hitting; Before I walked away I asked them if they understood me, they both said something that resembled yes. I was pleased. So were both of their teachers. They both praised me (so did Ms. B, who was still in the room with her "infant")
Miss Lisa [ML]: Alrighty kiddys!! Lets line up by the gate (babygate) for snack!! [Not a single child moves]
Miss Lisa's Aide: [Physically putting children in line] Snack time!!
I asked ML if I could try something b/c I used to work w.toddlers in child care in 2007. She said of course.
I sang this little song about snack time. I felt 9 pairs of eyes immediately on me- good sign.
Then I asked "Who's belly's want snack?" (not every child will know what the word hungry means yet)
Everyone but Maggie raised their hands. I said "Okay lets get line so we can wash our hands... we don't want our germs to eat snack with us, do we?" They all shook their heads no.
The two teachers were in awe! They kept saying "Can we hire you, NOW?" It was a great feeling.
I didn't realize how much I missed working [in childcare till I was in that setting]. I know that I could never work doing anything else unless it was with children. I am so lucky I found my calling. I just want to speed this process up!!
They are short a few teachers, I would gladly work there, but there are two factors... 1) They wouldn't pay me enough to put E there (or anywhere else) full time 2) Or enough to make it worth my while. All my pay would go to pay for E's childcare. I would get a discount for being a student at the affiliated college -or- being an employee, not both.
During Snack time Judas was sitting next to Olivia. They were having apple slices & milk. Yum. Well apparently Jude eats extremely fast, like nascar fast. Well even if the children finish they are still expected to sit at the table with the rest of their friends. I guess Jude was still hungry b/c he took it upon himself to help himself to Olivia's apple's, but he hadn't touched his milk!!
ML was engaged with Maggie who was not interested in eating but very thirsty. I nudged ML as to not draw too much attention to the situation at hand. ML sent her aide to deal with Jude, this seems to be an everyday occurrence (!!!).
Aide: Jude please don't take Olivia's snack
Olivia is drinking her milk, doesn't seem to care
Aide: I think that we might need to talk to mommy about this if it continues. Please don't take Olivia's snack, anymore
As I am watching this situation unfold, I say to ML, "Maybe he is just very hungry. There are extra apples. What is the centers policy on more snack?' "There is no policy, its by class" -Very enlightening...
ML walks over to jude
ML: Jude would you like some more apples of your own?
ML: Okay [gives him 3 more]
since the playground is snow covered... screw you snow! & it was raining... Outside play was not permitted... ya think? They have this area called the "Village". This place blew my mind! It was incredible. It is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a miniature village and everything is labeled in big bold lettering.
There is: a beauty parlor, a home environment, a bookkeeping & law office, Doctor’s Office, A mechanic’s garage and a police and fire station. Numerous ride-in cars and a road to ride them on, a telephone booth, building blocks and risers to sit on that surround a tumbling area.
It was really a great place for the children to run and get their energy out, esp after snack time.
But... theres ALWAYS a but... it was chaos, pure chaos! The MT room and the T1 room where in there and right before I left the T2 room arrived! 20 TOODLERS ages 12-36mons & only 5 teachers (not including myself) in ONE area!!!
I could not believe my eyes. As the MT teacher who is a 21y/o undergrad said "Talk about BIRTH CONTROL". I chuckled and told her I have one at home, she looked at me wide-eyed and said "You must be joking" I just looked at her. She said that I was brave and walked to brake up a mini-wrestling match. Srsly!
I can't even begin to tell you ALL of the things I saw for the 30 mins I stayed in the Village- I wish I had a video camera- it would've gotten a bazillion hits on youtube.
But I can say this... I was glad to come home to MY TODDLER.
When I walked in the door she ran up to me and said "you home mama" and huged my legs. I melted in to a pool of love right there.
I LOVE children. I am glad I found my calling & I do miss childcare.
I am going to TEACH and MOLD young minds, but I am going to teach and mold America's 5 or 6 year olds! K or 1st grade for me!
Thank Goodness Tomorrow's Friday--
Come on back then to see what I have planned... Its full of FUN & WIN
Next week we will be back to our normal "Convo w.a Toddler"
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