Every educator has had a moment when they watched a co-educator be greeted with cheers and hugs and they thought “the kids don’t think I am fun.” or “why don’t I get greeted like that “ The truth is we all have our good days and bad days but we all have our own unique educator style.
This style changes as we age, gain experience and learn new skills. The energetic 20 year old me was loud, animated and full of laughter. The children would tell me jokes and try to make me laugh. The middle aged me is quieter, more observant and more thoughtful about my interactions with children. Mostly the children are not trying to make me laugh anymore. They are drawing me pictures for my fridge and telling me stories about their lives.
At times I have been partnered with creative teachers half my age and I have second guessed how I am as an educator. Maybe I should be more fun. Maybe I should chase and run more. Maybe I should remember every child’s name the first time I meet them. Maybe. Maybe I should be more.
But no. There is a dignity in knowing who you are as an educator. Being able to remember how you were and the personalities you exhibited and embracing the person all those experiences has made you. Maybe I don’t piggyback and run and chase like the younger teachers. Yet I make deeper connections with the children and families than I did in my early years and I reflect more and am more purposeful with the things I do and actions I take.
Embracing your educator style really means looking at all the things you bring to your job today and being thankful that the children have a rainbow of educators in their lives to meet the various needs and moods they experience.
I am no longer the educator that gets or tells all the jokes and that is ok. Other educators may get hugs, high fives and cheers and that is ok. I love the tiny notes with hearts drawn on them that a child slips into my pocket. I love the smiles I get when a child is telling me something they were successful at. I love knowing that to the children we do not have to all be the same. Just as they are all different so are the educators. Embrace all that you bring to the playroom and be thankful for the rainbow .