Friday, January 8, 2010
Caring, Confronting or Compromising?
Years ago when I was fresh out of school with my fancy new Early Childhood Education I landed a great paying job in a small center. I remember being very excited about putting all my hard earned education into practice.
Here is the story I love to tell new teachers. One of my jobs at my first center was getting the kids off the daycare van. The driver was also an daycare owner who drove the van for our center as well as her own center. She would pull up and blow her horn. I'd stand outside and mark off each child that got off the van. One day she comes back to our center with two of our children. Apparently, these two fell asleep that morning and never got off the van! Although she never confronted me she made sure she told my director how upset she was with me and all the things that could have went wrong had she not found those kids. Oh my...I was mortified. I left work that day and sat shamefully in my professors office to sob and tell her all the horrible details. She listened carefully and handed me tissues between my sobs. After I was done she calmly asked where was my copy of the Department of Children and Families Rules and Regulations. I told her it was in my bag at home. She handed me another copy and told me, "This is like your bible, I want you to know it inside and out." "If you plan on keeping this job, you do not compromise!" Her instructions were for me to get on the van and check every seat and on the floor, check off each student, sign my name and have the driver to sign as well.
Oh with my new found focus I was even sharper than before! The driver of the van would be so annoyed each morning when I climbed aboard with my clip board walking to the back of the van working my way to the front. The taps of her foot, the rolls of her eyes, the long sighs, or the impatient tapping on the steering wheel NEVER bothered me as much as leaving those kids on her van.
Years later, I STILL DO NOT compromise. I recently scolded a teacher regarding safety issues and she was very upset with me since "I'm not the boss". What I did tell her was that I like to buy my own silver bracelets. I'd rather NOT get free ones because she chooses to compromise, I'd rather care enough to confront.