About six months ago, I switched from my regular position as Early Childhood Educator and Manager of a preschool to casual Early Childhood Educator at several different child care programs. I made the switch because of burnout and because there is a huge demand here in Victoria for qualified ECE subs so I knew I would never be short of work.
When I worked every day in my program, I wasn’t feeling appreciated. I am sure that my work was appreciated but I just didn’t get that feeling each day. Maybe because I was overwhelmed and burned out, I couldn’t see the appreciation anymore.
So how are things now? Six months later, I often am greeted with a “we’re so glad you’re here today!” or even a hug from the staff, who know that if I’m not there, their day could be a lot more difficult. Parents whose children I have only worked with for a couple of weeks have given me gifts. I feel I am making a difference and that’s important to me.
Aside from casual, I also have added a daily gratitude practice to my life. Every single night, without fail, I sit down and write five things for which I am grateful. Often they are really little things. But they matter.
Here’s a sample list from my journal a couple of weeks ago:
- beach walk with preschoolers
- “I love you, Teacher Cindy.” said one of the preschoolers
- bakery treats
- sketching time
- fireside chat with the family
If you are reading this post and hoping to change your life for the better and if you don’t already have a daily gratitude practice…. start! I highly recommend it! It takes me only little time each night because throughout the day I pay attention to all the things that make me feel grateful. Most nights in five minutes or less, I’ve got my list done. And I find that even when I have more difficult days, I am much more easily able to stay positive.
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Thanks so much for reading my blog! Hope you’ll visit again. Have a wonderful week!