By MINDY MAIZEL
MINDY MAIZELI recently received a letter from Governor Rick Scott. As an early childhood educator for more than 25 years, this was the first time that a politician wrote to thank me, and I’m sure many others for a job well done. We have the privilege as educators, of working to make a positive impact in a child’s life daily. Our job is an act of love, from the heart. It is definitely not a job of monetary reward.
Along with the thank you was an outline of the legislative bills, funding and plans to advance the early learning program in the state of Florida.
The support of government and teachers are a wonderful thing for pre-school children. Just one thing is missing in the equation to give our boys and girls a great educational foundation. The missing piece is parent involvement and quality time spent with their child.
Over the years I have seen a steady decline in parenting. The social and economical situation is this country, along with the technical advancements has affected our children in a negative way. Parents leave their children in school longer hours, because mom and dad now work. Requests from teachers are not done, parents don’t have the time. There is always an excuse when issues or behavior need to be addressed. Parents too often feel it’s the teacher’s job. After all it’s the teacher who spends most of the day with the child. Children thrive on structure, which they are given in school. They also need attention, from their parents, not just their teacher. They will settle for negative attention with behavior issues as long as they get attention. Parents give their children cell phones, iPads or other devices to keep them quiet, rather than talk with them.
Being a parent is the hardest job anyone can have. It is a job parents choose. It doesn’t end at a set time each day. The job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a life time. Parenting is also the most rewarding job anyone can have. The rewards equal what is put in. Every moment with your child should be a teachable moment. Talk to them, embrace them and love them with all your heart. Technical devices can’t do that.
When all three factions, government, teachers and parents are put together and work together, the only thing is for success to follow, especially in the educational process.
BY TARA PABALIS
It has always been a fact that teachers don’t make enough money for the job they do. Teachers make an impact daily in the lives of our children. They mold the people that will lead our country in the years ahead. Over the last twenty years there has been a push to increase the early learning program. Government gives some assistance, but the majority of the programs are privately owned pre-schools.
A teacher in a private pre-school setting typically makes a little over minimum wage. They are the ones laying the educational foundation of our youngest students. Child care centers are no longer glorified babysitting services. They offer education at an early age. As much as school owners would love to pay them more, it is often not possible.
The rents are high, even in small strip shopping centers. There is no break for a pre-school. The landlords still want their profits. Insurance companies don’t give lower rates for child care centers. In our “sue happy” society they must protect themselves. Accidents happen, but not at their expense. Owners of schools need some profit after all they aren’t there just for the goodness of their heart. It is a job.
Parents, who put their children in full day pre-school, are typically working parents. How much can you charge for child care? Is soon becomes is it worth it for them to work?
When all costs and factors are added to the equation, teachers again are left with very little. They love the children, teach the children and spend all day with them. When all is said and done, they go home with a very small paycheck and a smile on their face for doing a job they love.