Earlier this week, I was with a woman who I’d met one time before, several months ago. One of my friends had also met her previously, yet she couldn’t remember what the woman did for a living. “What is it you do, again?” she asked. “I teach preschool special-ed,” the woman replied, followed with, “I know- shoot me.”
I was so surprised by what she said, I actually asked her to repeat herself. And she did, without hesitation, and went on to say how much she couldn’t stand it, but she had no choice.
All I could do was stare at her, nodding my head as she waited for me to commiserate. I literally had to hold my lips together to keep from telling her what I truly thought, as it wasn’t my place, nor was it the appropriate time. But as an educator of young children, I can tell you right now that whether she is a talented teacher or not, the children in her care are likely sensing her vibe. No choice? I’m sad for those kids, and I’m sad for this woman who feels that she has no other option but to face a classroom every day full of kids that she dreads seeing. How does one get to that point?
Please don’t misunderstand- I’m not sitting in judgement, I understand that sometimes people get to a place in their lives where the responsibilities may outweigh the options, but in child care? It can’t be about the money- you’d make more working retail. So what could it be? I hope I never have to feel that way, and I pray that this woman finds what she needs to feel fulfilled. I know the pressure can be even greater over the holidays, and I know that I may be touching upon a sensitive subject for some, but maybe some of you can share an experience that relates to this woman. Maybe you found a way out of whatever dead end you were stuck in, or maybe you’re in that space now, and could use some ideas on what to do next.
What are some of the choices you’ve made to ensure your needs are met?