1. They are not daycare workers, they are daycare teachers. Their lesson plan every day includes: how to share, how to have “nice hands” and “walking feet,” how to say please and thank you, how to walk behind someone without pushing, how to take turns, and how to have “listening ears.”
2. They are not just teachers. They are also janitors and nurses. They make boo-boos feel better and dry up tears. They spray, wipe, sanitize, sweep, mop, vacuum, and take out the trash.
3. They are waitresses. They balance little trays and cups of milk. They pick up squashed peas off the floor. Scoop peaches when they ask for more.
4. They change 5 dirty diapers, within 10 minutes, the day after beef and corn.
5. They get 12 little ducklings to follow in a row on their way to the playground.
6. They tie tiny shoes. Snap tiny pants. Fold tiny blankeys. Wipe tiny noses. Spend 5 minutes fixing the heels of tiny Converse. Multiply all of this by 12 on some days.
7. They are there before parents go to work and-or don’t go home until the last kid is picked up as the second hand ticks to closing time.
8. They lay out cots and pillows and blankeys and paci’s. They know who gets a pacifier, who gets a 6 oz bottle, who has to have all the lights out, who will wake up early, who came in late and will lay awake. They sit between cots patting restless toddlers to sleep. They spend the rest of nap time keeping the one early riser from waking the 11 others.
9. They go home and take care of their own families and homes, or their own children. They somehow find time to rest their tired feet.
10. They are patient and kind. They are trustworthy. They do their best with no promise of rest. They don’t enjoy disciplining, but do it with love. Their heart swells to see your child grow and learn and smile and play. They laugh at the funny things the kids always say. Say thank you to your daycare teacher. They love your child more than you know.
Note: I worked at my kids’ daycare this summer. I have a new found appreciation for all of the staff! I worked in every age, 0-10. Every age group has their challenges, but still they each have something sweet, hilarious, or special about each of them. You can show appreciation to the teachers with a simple gift: their favorite drink or candy, a little note, or just a daily “thank you.” They don’t ask for recognition, but show them some love for loving your most precious gift each day.