Teacher's heartfelt post reminds parents why we need to appreciate preschool teachers
Preschool teachers and early childhood educators have feelings too...
The job of being a teacher is never easy, with many facing parental backlash on a daily basis, as well as preschool teacher burnout.
In Singaporean teacher, Stacey Elizabeth Toh‘s post previously, she spoke up for early childhood education teachers while addressing often-ignored causes for preschool teacher burnout.
Stacy started off her post by saying that she had joined a public group back then. Her heart would sink every time she came across posts or comments. And this is why:
- “Just complain la to the Principal, get her out of job.”
- “Of course la want to send your child home cos one less child to take care of mah”
- “If I were you, I change school.”
- “Just put your child in school till 7 pm sharp. U pay what for school fees. Make full use la.”
- “Aiya all these teachers don’t know one la, unless they are mothers if not, don’t trust them to take care, all they have is a cert.”
- “Wahhh, if I were you I demand compensation, go online blow big-big, go MP. Then get the teacher fired”
Upset by the narrow-mindedness of these answers, she was saddened by how judgemental everyone was. It is true that most social media posts are only one side to the coin.
It is rare that people know the full story and usually, the issue is blown out of proportion. Everyone feels entitled to voice their opinion and add to the drama.
She responded with this heart-felt-response to all the hate on social media:
- We are Teachers. Yes. I repeat. We are Teachers. (Well, supposedly an honourable profession.)
- We would save YOUR children if a bomb threat happens at school or the school is on fire. Yes, it’s no surprise, we would die to protect YOUR children. (No, not drama at all, unexpected things happen all the time, nothing is impossible anymore.)
- No, we are not perfect, but we try to be every single day.
- You have 1, ok no, maybe max 5 children at home. We have more than 10, up to 25 or 30 in each class at school. Yet, when you tell us your child fell down at home, we are there to advise you on how you can better manage. When your child falls in school, we quietly acknowledge your shouts, your screams, lower our heads and apologise. We apologise while our hearts ache for YOUR child because we love them. (Yes. You heard me. We love YOUR children with all our heart and soul.)
- Some of us, who are mothers, spend more time with YOUR children than our own children.
- We NEVER give up on any one of YOUR children. The day they walk down that aisle in their graduation gown, we tear, we feel that ache, we feel that pride that YOUR children have grown up, ready for Primary 1, ready for life. And we will miss them dearly. We will miss their laughter, voice, cheekiness, stubbornness, tears, hugs etc.
While she feels sad that this message may not hit home for those who really need to hear it, still, she finds comfort in knowing that by standing up for other early childhood educators and explaining why preschool teacher burnout happens, some might be comforted.
What has become of parents today? Why are we so overprotective and quick to judge? Is it so difficult to trust other people to care for our children?
It is almost as if we’re applying the Millennial attitude towards preschool teachers and early childhood educators. Do they owe us anything? While we lament to our friends about how difficult it is to care for our own children, are we not forgetting that some of these teachers have it a lot harder? Mind you, they do this every day.
Are they not filling in for us so we can get some semblance of normalcy? While we complain about ME time and needing a break from the kids and all, what about their breaks?
It takes a willing heart for kids to be working in this line. When they invest so much in our children and get backlash comments like these from parents, it’s no wonder preschool teacher burnout always happens.
While Stacey is certain there are reasonable, understanding and objective parents out there, I think many of us need to reevaluate how we treat those who are nurturing and educating our children every day.
They do it out of love and compassion for our children. Like the rest of us, there are genuine teachers who really give their all – being an educator is not just a job that pays the bills.
Do not be so quick to judge and do not be overprotective of your children. Instead, realise these teachers’ contributions and work hand-in-hand with them. Together, we can reduce the chances of preschool teacher burnout and ensure a healthy environment for the best of our children.
Source: Stacey Elizabeth Toh
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