"Children are always watching you."
That's the simple but powerful message one childcare worker is sharing with the world - and her poignant insights are quickly going viral.
The 22-year-old Canadian teacher, Amanda, took to Twitter on October 3 with a thread full of lessons she has learnt during her two years as an early childhood educator.
And we're taking note...
1. Children's little eyes are always on us:
I think one of the most important things I’ve learned about working in childcare is to remember that children are always watching you (even when you don’t think they are) ... A thread— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
2. They pick up our quirks, our slang and our bad habits:
You spend 40+ hours with these children a week. 8 hours a day, 5 days a week these children are at daycare with you. They pick up quickly on your quirky behaviours, your funny slang, your bad habits, etc. They look up to you as a role model. They seek comfort in you.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
3. When we don't acknowledge when our kids make an effort, it impacts their self-confidence:
So when a child worked really hard to put their coat on all by themselves and you’re too busy to notice so you just say “good job” and don’t acknowledge the fact they worked really hard and persisted to get the coat on all by themselves, it lessens their confidence in themselves.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
Or when a child is wanting to help you spray the table with soapy water and clean it before snack or lunch times but you say no because it’s faster if you do it, they lose their sense of independence. They feel sad because their help was offered and denied.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
4. Let's value our youth - and raise strong, independent children:
We want to build strong, independent children! Our youth should feel like they are valued. They should feel accepted. They should feel safe. They should feel loved. They should feel important. We need to view them as bright and capable individuals in all areas of life.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
5. Remember to show empathy when our kids are overwhelmed:
So when one of your toddlers asks to help clean the table, let them! When one of your preschoolers puts on their shoes by themselves (even though they’re on the wrong feet), praise them! When a school age child is overwhelmed with emotion, tell them you understand how it feels!— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
6. Our babies will run the world one day:
These children are going to be running our world someday. They’re going to be the ones working in our nursing homes, hospitals, schools, banks, etc. Let’s raise children that we can be proud of! You get what you give. Be patient. Be kind. Be understanding.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
7. We can never completely understand what's happening for a child at home - so we must look for them behind their behaviours:
We don’t know what goes on in children’s personal lives at home. We don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. The child that steals food from another child’s plate might not be fed enough at home. The child that swears at us might see abuse firsthand at home.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
8. Childcare workers, (like this passionate young woman), are absolute superheros:
All we can do is be our best selves everyday at work and offer them a positive learning environment where they feel safe and loved. Give hugs, offer a helping hand, ask children how they feel, give positive feedback, redirect negative behaviours so they can become positive ones.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
Working in childcare is not an easy job. It requires lots of patience. There are some days when you go home feeling defeated and you break down in tears. But there are also days where something amazing happens and you’re reminded of why you got into the field in the first place.— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
The good always outweighs the bad. Smile. Laugh. Appreciate every minute of each day. As an early childhood educator who has been in the field for 2 years now, I feel blessed to be able to teach the young children in our community and to play a key role in their development. 💛— amanda (@amanda_c_rae) October 3, 2018
The 22-year-old's words have since gone viral, resonating with early childhood educators and parents alike.
"Thank you," one woman wrote. "I love this so much. I work in child care as a toddler teacher. We sometimes spend more time with these children than their parents do. What we teach them and how we help them develop impacts them heavily. Our job is more than just a paycheck."
"Working parents greatly appreciate the work you daycare teachers do," said another. "My daughter has learned so much from being around other kids and teachers. It's good to know she's in good hands while I can't be around."