Advocating for children

A few days ago I had to talk to a newer assistant teacher.  She thought that one of the teachers was being too rough at naptime with one of the children.  She didn’t want to say anything because she didn’t want to get someone she works with upset with her.

I learned about this ongoing occurrence from someone else who wanted  me to know that the newer assistant had a concern.  The assistant had already left for lunch.  I went and peeked into the classroom and saw exactly what the assistant teacher was not mentioning to supervisors the concern.  A teacher was being too rough at naptime with a child.  I immediately went in and took over. 


I later took issue with this teacher outside of the classroom to deal with her mannerisms at naptime.

I then later took issue with the assistant teacher.  We are advocates for these children.  They can’t say out loud (especially the young toddlers) when they are being mistreated.  The ONLY way we can protect the children is to speak up for them.

I had really hoped that I had at least empowered her to speak up when she saw something that wasn’t right.  I got my answer about three days later.

I happened to be at the same center and she approached me (the assistant teacher).  She said, “You told me I needed to speak up, and so I’m coming to you.”  She then proceeded to tell me of another behavior that needed to be stopped.

Albeit this particular behavior that needed to be addressed was not one that was putting a child in danger, however it was inappropriate.  I am a huge believer in NOT stressing children out intentionally.  Keeping them from their favorite teacher is putting stress on a child that doesn’t need to be there.  Let her be with that favorite teacher, then, slowly build your own bond with that child and help her branch out…keeping her away from the ONE person she trusts…well, that’s just mean.

So, I am proud of the assistant teacher for speaking up that second time.  I know that it was difficult for her.  I am glad that my message got through to her and that she was actually able to put it to use.

However, I do see too often teachers and assistant teachers keeping their mouths shut just so that they don’t make waves with co-workers.  Were the children’s health, safety, and well-being are concerned, make all the waves you want…it makes YOU the better teacher.

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