A preschool teacher told a preschooler to bring a baby picture in for the beginning of the school year. The child went home and asked, “Do we have a baby picture?” The parent showed the preschooler a picture of him when he was a baby, and he said, “MOM, the teacher said I need a baby picture! I need something MUCH smaller than this!”
As we start this new school year, I want you to know there are wonderful preschool teachers who love it when a child listens to them. Right now they are getting details ready for children who not long ago were a baby. They are getting lesson plans ready for children to follow and are thrilled when a child wants to follow their directions.
This week at my preschool, I watched a teacher take materials out of the classroom to better wash and disinfect them. As the items were brought back in, the teacher noticed a bird had done the opposite of cleaning the item while outside which, instead of warranted frustration, brought the teacher to laughter. This same teacher also had to spend time repainting over a dozen cubbies to cover the wax that had splattered on them during the janitor’s clean up time. Another teacher was busy scrapping the walls to get them presentable. One more teacher was moving heavy furniture and sanding and painting a cabinet to make her room more attractive for her class. Another teacher was at the post office buying stamps to send special mail to some three year olds. These teachers love the children that will be in their classroom before they even get to know them.
They will cry when they graduate in the spring. They will give countless hours of preparation time for lessons, art projects, service work and extra clean up. We often think of teacher’s pay as small, yet an elementary teacher gets benefits, support staff, tenure options and the backing of unions that negotiate contracts. Preschool teachers typically get none of that yet they give beyond measure.
They give because they know that little things make a big difference. They know that a baby picture can be a part of the bigger picture of life. There actually is no “baby picture” to a teacher. A preschool teacher sees the whole big project.
- When was the last time you did a lot of work and never thought about the monetary pay that you received?
- If you were challenged to come up with a way to best honor those in your life who do things for you and your family that are beyond what is expected, what would you do? (Would it be more meaningful than an “Ice Bucket Challenge?)
- Will you take a moment to think about those who impacted you when you were still in baby pictures?
“Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.”
“Success is not a function of the size of your title but the richness of your contribution.” Robin S. Sharma
P.S. That baby picture is my baby 23 years ago, and I truly thank his preschool teacher for all she did so long ago.