As a first cycle infant teacher, I cannot count the number of times I have been told “but what do you do with the children? If they are babies, you will only change their diapers and feed them ”when I talk about my work. The lack of knowledge about early childhood and the work we do often makes people think that nothing is done at these ages.
It is true that we do not do directed activities, that their attention span is not very long or it may even seem that “they are too young to learn anything”. If this were true … What do we do all day if we do nothing?
What we do is lay the foundation for any future learning.
And not only during the proposal or activity of the day, but also when we blow the snot, give a hug, do a diaper change … What we really work on in every little moment, when we console a cry at the beginning of the course, we hear the first words of our students (even in English) or simply when we carry out everyday activities such as eating, sleeping or washing our hands, it is working on true autonomy, respecting the times of each child and their adaptation process.
In each small action there is value and learning, in each quality care, in respecting your time and confidence in your abilities. What we do when we do nothing is discover the world and find our place through exploration.
Perhaps we must stop justifying everything we do not do and give value to everything we do. At this stage, the important thing is not the result, but the process that each boy and girl carries out during it.
And really, we don’t stop.
Early Years Teacher