I love the Bravermans! This scene was awesome, and also the last scene of the episode where Julia tucks them all in. Love this show!
I watched this show for the first time over my break last week on HBO Go (which is awesome) and it was so funny! I finished the first 2 seasons and I’m ready for the new one! I hadn’t watched before because I didn’t think I could take “Old Christine” seriously as a vice president, but once I watched I realized this isn’t a serious vice president anyway!
Lauren is a toddler teacher. She previously worked as a lead teacher, but moved into a teacher assistant role in order attend graduate school for social work part-time.
What’s on your to do list on an average day?
On an average day I get to work just before 9am and pick up the kids in our class who were there early for morning care and bring them to our room. I change their diapers and then play with them as the other children start arriving. I unpack lunches, snacks, and sometimes bedding or whatever else they were sending in that day.
Once all the children have arrived the teacher leads circle time and a lesson, and I help keep the kids interested or I take attendance or set something up in the room. Circle is usually followed by morning snack. The teacher has most of the day’s activities planned, so I follow her lead. Sometimes we have specials, like music or movement. We also try to take them to the gym in the morning. Sometimes I help with an art project, sometimes I’m changing diapers, or sometimes I’m playing with the children who weren’t interested in doing art.
Generally, throughout the morning (and afternoon!) I have to settle quite a few disagreements because 2-year olds don’t like to share! On most of these occasions no one gets bitten, but it happens sometimes! I get a half hour lunch break and when I’m done I come back and help the kids get their lunches set up. Then we get the room ready for naptime. After that comes the challenge of trying to get twelve 2-year-olds to sleep! It usually involves about a half hour of rubbing their backs with the lights out and soothing music on. Most days I think us teachers would like to fall asleep too! While they’re sleeping I sometimes help prep a project or I take any children who aren’t sleeping to another classroom and play with them in there.
Once they all wake up, it’s time for more diaper changing (although some are now potty-training so we have to keep them on their own schedule) and afternoon snack. Depending on how late they slept, sometimes there is an afternoon activity. Then it’s time for a story, cleaning up the room, and putting all the kids’ stuff in their bags. They get to take home a paper each day saying exactly what they ate and how much, when their diapers were changed, and how long they slept so I have to fill that in throughout the day. At 4:00 the kids get picked up and we leave soon after.
What do you like best about your job?
Teaching can be very fulfilling and working with such young children, I often end up laughing at the funny things they say. Here are of my most fulfilling moments as a teacher and a few funny moments.
1. When I was a TA in a pre-k class we had one student who was a selective mute (so, she never spoke at school) and a very outgoing girl was playing next to her and then turned to me to ask, “Why can’t she talk?” I looked at the other girl and saw her look down at her feet, and I wondered how to answer the question that satisfied the child asking and didn’t upset the other girl. I ended up telling her something about how some children like to talk more than others, and that she was able to talk if she wanted to, but if she didn’t want to then that was okay too. At the end of the year, the mother of the girl who was the selective mute wrote me a note to thank me for that because she said her daughter came home and told her what happened, and it made her feel a little more comfortable that I said it was okay if she didn’t talk much.
2. The year that I worked at the special education school, in the mornings I was a 1-to-1 aide for a 2-year old boy, who had an issue with biting (in the sense that he would do it to anyone at any time, for no reason), and it was a challenge to work with him some days. He was such a sweet and smart boy, but I’d get frustrated with myself when he did bite someone and I wasn’t able to stop it in time. Still, by the end of the year I feel like he had made a lot of progress, and I really enjoyed working with him. Some people just labeled him as a “bad kid” because of his issues, but I’m glad that I got to know him and what a great kid he is.
3. Last year when I worked in the pre-toddler class most of our students were just over a year old when they started, and one girl was a preemie when she was born so some of her milestones were delayed. We were getting concerned when she wasn’t walking by almost 16-months old, so I started working with her when we took the kids to the gym, to get her to take a few steps and her reward was a hug when she reached me. Somehow this, in conjunction with her parents working with her at home, got her walking within a week. Now, just about a year later, she’s walking and talking and rubbing all over!
1. This one is gross, but kind of funny, because it’s just unexpected. A few weeks ago one of our students (who is nearly 3) pooped in his diaper, and I guess it was very soft. We didn’t know he had pooped, but then he started dragging his butt along the floor like a dog. The lead teacher went over to see what he was doing and he had poop all up his back, and then he said, “And here too!” and showed her his hands that he had stuck in his diaper. I don’t know what he was thinking!
2. Last year I read the blog “Reasons my Son is Crying,” and then wrote a Tumblr post with a few reasons my students had cried that week. This is the list:
-He was eating a yummy cupcake with blue frosting, but got some blue frosting on his hand.
-I wouldn’t let her climb on the garbage can and turn on the hot water in the sink.
-I told him not to take his friend’s shoes off.
-I wouldn’t let her pour oatmeal on her friend’s head.
3. Some random funny-ish things:
-A 4-year old talking about a birthday party, “Man, that was a sick party last night!”
-A 4-year old wouldn’t drink her milk because Justin Bieber was on the carton.
-A 4-year old was obsessed with Michael Jackson and told me that Michael Jackson gave him one of his gloves at a concert before he died. He was also obsessed with Spiderman, firefighters, and sometimes God.
-A 2-year old singing, “I’m sexy and I know it!” (He said he learned it from that M&Ms commercial – this was about 2 years ago!)
How did you get to where you are now?
My mom was an elementary school teacher (and is now a college professor), so teaching was always in the back of my mind. I went to undergrad for teaching high school math and I subbed at a high school for about 2 years, but I didn’t love it. Around this same time I worked at a summer camp with 3-year olds and started babysitting and I loved both. I also enjoyed a fieldwork placement that I had in a special education school, so I decided to go for my masters in early childhood general and special education. During my student teaching for that degree it became obvious that this was much more the direction I should be going in. I really enjoy working in special education settings, but I’m also enjoying my current job much more than I expected to, even though it’s general education.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
From here, most people try to get teaching jobs in the public schools because they pay better and you get benefits. However, where I live it’s so hard to get any type of teaching job. That helped me make my decision to go back for a masters in social work because I could still work with children, but just in a different setting and it would open more job opportunities for me.
I’m still trying to decide which career path is right for me. Should I continue with the social work degree and hope I can get a good job? That might mean not working for two years while I do internships, and I’m not happy about that. But will the end result outweigh the negatives? Do I just stay with teaching in a private preschool and hope that I get married and have children within the next five years and can take some time off to stay home and raise them? Or do I pursue my dream of working in television or entertainment journalism? (Don’t judge my writing based on this post!) None of the options seem ideal at the moment; they all have pros and cons, but I wish one of the options only had pros! However, that’s not realistic. In the next few months I’m hoping to figure out which path I choose to follow!
I always have weird dreams; I think it’s a side effect of my medication, but whatever it’s not a big deal. Monday night I watched Real Housewives of Beverly Hills right before going to sleep, and then had this dream:
I was friends with Kyle’s daughter, Alexia, although sometimes we were like BFFs and other times she was like, “You’re not rich so you can’t hang out here.” They had an awesome house; there was one room that blew bubbles as soon as you stepped into it, and the bathroom had those fancy hygienic hand dryers, haha. And then we took some kind of SUV with all kinds of special features to a “jewelry buffet,” which is pretty much just like a food buffet, but with jewelry and each item has its own price. I looked at everything and didn’t love any of the jewelry. The one thing I kinda like was actually the cheapest thing (and I think it was $40). I felt obligated to buy something, so I had to choose between those earrings or a $1 pancake. I chose the pancakes. I don’t know if that makes me cheap or food-obsessed…or both?!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s one for the secret (or not so secret) love of your life.
Happy Valentine’s Day! (Also, I’m excited for this show to come back in 2-ish weeks!)
Happy Galentine’s Day to all of my wonderful lady friends!!
If you want an actual (albeit, late) card let me know! Or if I have your address you may just get one anyway!
And if you are truly lucky, sometimes you meet and they become “real” life friends :)