Approving of Ourselves and Others


I think the post below from Child Care Exchange aligns with the Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy Campaign: “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” The campaign encourages people to accept the idea of boss or leader for girls and boys, without attaching the negative connotation to it. I was called bossy by my siblings and I have always been a boss in my working life. There’s nothing wrong with being a boss, it doesn’t mean you are bossy. Most preschool teachers, the ones I know best and work with every day, are bosses – that’s a natural role for a facilitator of a group of young children. Teacher is a professional job for an educated and professional person and just as important as any other professional job out there. Their own self-confidence and creativity, empathy and intelligence allow them to naturally lead others.

Child Care Exchange offers:  “If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves.”  Margie Carter used this quote from Maya Angelou to lead off her article, “Developing Strong Self-Images — It’s Important for Teachers, Too!”  In the article Carter observed, “We need to regularly exercise our imaginations if we are to institutionalize the respect that unmistakably leads to strong self-images of teachers.”  And, she closed her article with this message from Beth Menninga of the Minneapolis Worthy Wages Campaign:

“Imagine a society where young college students vie to get into the early childhood program,
where a manly aspiration is to be a head teacher in a child care center,
where a family provider is the center of all eyes at a party when she says what her job is,
where a Head Start teacher’s family displays her CDA diploma on their living room wall,
where a school-aged teacher is sought out by a child’s sixth grade teacher for advice,
where family members proudly say that teaching in early childhood has been in their family for generations.
Imagine how much a society like that must value its young children, when those who care for them and educate them are so revered.”

We have a role in our partnership as educators and families here at the Cooperative School and throughout our children’s educational lives, to support each other, to honor and respect each other as professionals and to work in the best interests of all of the children in our care. You never know, they might grown up to be bosses!

Author: Gail Ader

Early childhood education is my passion and I have worked in this field since 1998, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. Child centered learning in a supportive and developmentally appropriate setting is the key to high quality programs. As the Executive Director at the Cooperative Learning Community my focus is on supporting my team so that they can focus on their children and families.