Written by Julie Piazza-King
After getting a very early start to your day, with little ones running around, you, like most parents and guardians, happily head to your local child care center to drop your children off for an enriching day.
Have you ever wondered what your child’s day looks like from their teacher’s perspective? At Family Life Child Care Centers (FLC), an OhioGuidestone organization, we fill your child’s day with learning and fun activities from drop-off to pick-up. Here’s how:
At 6:30am sharp, families start arriving at the center and we, the teachers at FLC, hit the ground running. There isn’t an opportunity to ease into the morning with a cup of coffee, because we are busy welcoming families and getting the children excited about being back in class. Some children are happy to be back; they see their friends and eagerly rush into the classroom. For others, it can be a difficult time of separation from their loved ones and there may be tears. Surrounded by the noise of the morning, we have to balance our time between the adults and the little ones. Sometimes parents and guardians need to ask questions or address concerns about their children during this busy drop-off time. Making sure that everyone has their fair share of time and attention can be a challenge!
Each day, we have a series of planned activities that incorporate motor-play, literacy and math skills. One activity our children enjoy is our free choice art projects. This time allows them to create their own art or make art based around a theme that we’ve been learning about. The themes for this artwork can range from fun colors to a story we’ve been reading or even something related to the holidays. We work to keep everyone engaged and moving from one activity to another, which means planning activities for the transition periods, too! Among these activities, we actively observe and take down anecdotal notes, which helps us keep track of so many little developing minds all at once.
Preparing to go outside takes major planning! Depending on the time of year, it may involve zipping up coats; helping put on boots; applying sunscreen and repeatedly going over the safety rules for outside. We do a variety of fun activities outside such as dramatic play. This activity encourages the little ones to use their imagination as they dress up and build stories. We use this activity to develop their imaginations and encourage them to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. When outdoor play time is over, we begin rounding up the children to come inside. This is no small feat, as some try anything they can to stay outside a little longer! Once inside, we make sure that they put all of their gear away and wash their hands. Some little ones use the water to clean; others pretend it’s Splash Zone.
While we serve lunch and open packaging, a lot of good conversation is taking place. Whether it’s about the food or their weekend plans with Superman, listening to their conversations is always enlightening! Amid the giggles and talking, we know that soon we will need to encourage soft voices and prepare them for naptime.
Going from social time to rest time can be a challenge for us and the children. During naptime, we may be soothing the little ones, reading to others or finishing last minute details on a project for later. However, even if only one or two children decide they don’t want to rest it can spread to the entire class at lightning speed! It can be challenging, but we work hard to make sure every child gets the rest they need. Especially knowing how much they’ll miss this time when they’re older!
Wrapping up the Day
As the day comes to a close, the children are filled with excitement as they see their loved ones arrive to pick them up. The afternoon becomes a revolving door of parents and guardians coming to pick up their children which, like the morning, splits our attention between educating the young minds in our care and talking with the caregivers as they arrive. It’s always a good feeling to share how their child was kind or made a new friend!
A teacher’s day is spent dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions and will most definitely include: hugs; diaper changing; warming bottles; lesson planning; wiping noses; applying first aid; cleaning up spilled milk; reading to children; assisting with artwork; and just about everything else in between to ensure that the children are safe and learning! Even after an exhausting day, we leave knowing the important impact we are making on your children’s lives. It’s a pleasure to spend time with them all.
Your child’s favorite place is waiting! Interested in touring our FLC centers? Give us a call, and visit here, we’d love to get to know your child: 440.260.6001.