I think some of the challenges of ECE is just like any other job, it is getting to know the people you are going to work with and the role or duty you are going to fulfill at the preschool or childcare as a teacher. Definitely, if you work at a childcare facility where there are shifts, the more you get used to it the better and easier it becomes. On the other hand if you are having to switch shifts, from the early shift to the second or even overlapped shifts it can get a little tricky or even confusing and sometimes overwhelming. The switching to a later shift and the going back to an early shift, I think tends to be a little challenging. You work hard and by the end of the day you’re tired and not wanting to do anything else and then you have to go home and do what ever you need to do at home (clean, supper, laundry, own children, etc) but I think if you have a schedule and you follow it and organize your whole day then it will become more easy in time.
But one thing that is for sure that might happen is that when you start working either at a childcare or a preschool you are going to be prone to catch any sickness that is around in the school at the time. Like a common cold or cough, or throat infections or whatever is out there. Just like our teacher told us, like the brand new doctors that start working in the field, they catch every single thing since they’re working with sick people and while they build their immune system they get sick almost all the time but only for the first year. So for us teachers, we might catch every single bug in the first year, because you will be working with sick children that sneeze, cough, on you among other things. You build a strong immune system but once you’re immune system is strong it will take a long time to get sick. But in order to do this, like I said, you need to organize your day in a way that you have a good sleep at night and that you have a good diet and maybe some vitamins and some kid of exercise so your body can stay healthy.
Little by little, you’ll get used to the daily challenges that ECEs could have like planning activities for each day, talking to parents, or dealing with situations. I think that is one of the things that would come with time and experience. But the more you practice this, the better you will become.
Although I’m not that experienced in this field and I can say I’m just starting, so I asked a friend that’s been in the field for a while, what she thought could be a challenge in the field of ECE and she said to me,
“There are many challenges in this field. Both the physical exertions and the mental and emotional strain. Physical because of the daily movements needed to help and care for children which causes a lot of pressure and strain on your back, neck and knees. The emotional and cognitive because building relationships with them can cause varying levels of attachment. Caring for children on a full time basis can lead you to discipline and love them as your own. When they leave your care, it can be difficult, sometimes involving a grieving process. Year after year of this is what contributes to what is called ‘burn out’ in this field of work.”
I think she’s right, but once you know all this in advance, then you can definitely plan so you can avoid the ‘burn out’ and maybe one very important thing is to always be aware of how you are feeling so if you feel you’re getting close to that position then you can definitely take some time off to refresh and renew your self.