So the ECE Program at Stenberg College is very thorough. I think we covered exactly everything we need to be successful as an Early Childhood Educator. There is just one thing that I never thought was going to be hard to deal with was with parents or issues related with parents. We did cover a module about “Family – Teacher relations” but when you are in school and at this point this is the last module before practicum and career strategies and all that is happening at the end… It is a module that goes by very fast and it is so busy because there’s too many things going on, like finishing you resources plus the assignments for that module. And even though you learn about communicating with the families, that is one thing (and this is what I thought) communicating with the families and the ways to resolve conflict, etc, it is another thing to really putting it into practice.
I thought, “well I learned all this things about conflict and communication so it’s an everyday life.” You do this in a regular basis, you communicate with other people and you have conflicts and you resolve those conflicts so I thought, it is not a hard thing to do and with time you will learn better. But it’s not that simple to deal with parents, especially if they have a difficult issue going on or they complain about something or they don’t like.
You are the teacher of their child and they want answers and you are in charge because their most precious thing is under your supervision and you have to know everything. But when you are fresh out of school and suddenly you get a parent asking you a bunch of questions it becomes overwhelming because they catch you unprepared. Sometimes you’re not even expecting it and you have to think really fast and you don’t know what to say. Especially because this is one of the things that you don’t actually get to practice on your practicum or at any time, since you are only a student you don’t get to talk to any parents about behaviour or anything like that. I think because this kind of thing only concerns the parents and the teacher, you don’t get to see it until you are out in the field working.
Even though I think or I should say, in my short experience the place that I work at, they trained me and they taught us about these things but I think you can never be totally prepared for this. Since is not like a test where you read and memorize what you have to say, it is people you are going to talk to and there is no a script so it’s hard to think of the right answer. But I also know that like they taught me, with time it will become easier. The good thing, and hopefully is like this wherever you get a job, is that when you have a strong team to work with, that supports you and helps you, things become much easier and your work is so much fun!