A Day in the Life of a Daycare Teacher for Toddlers (15-23 Months Old)
6:28am - Wake up. Shower. Get dressed. Eat. Check Facebook, email, etc.
7:47am - Get into car.
7:55am - Pull into parking lot.
**From 8:00 & down, times are approximate. Yes, I am very exact with my schedule, but obviously, with toddlers, you can’t be**
8:00am - Sign in, walk into classroom. Say hi to Teacher #1 and to the kids (anywhere from 1 to 3 kids, depends on the day). Kids usually smile and say “hi hi!”. Put stuff (purse, jacket) in storage closet.
8:05am - Read the communication log for any notes about the kids from the night before or the morning.
8:10am - Teacher #1 tells me funny stories about the kids from the morning. I tell her funny stories from the previous afternoon. During all of this, we make sure the kids aren’t climbing on the tables/chairs, standing on the toys, or hurting each other. And we check for poop.
8:15am - One of my full-time primary kids get dropped off by Dad. Same time everyday. She sits down for breakfast (she usually brings cereal or oatmeal). Depending the day, my other primary kid is either already there or isn’t coming (part-timer).
8:20am - Dad finally leaves after a long goodbye. I make sure she is holding the spoon correctly. Usually she thrusts the spoon in my face & says “help”, so I feed her.
8:25am - She’s done eating, I clean her up, wash her bowl & cup & spoon and put them in her bag.
8:30am - My very smart 16-month-old runs up to me, points to her diaper, and says “poo poo”. I change her. She’s very routine.
8:45am - Little boy gets dropped off. Some days, he runs in and hugs the first teacher he sees. Other days, he clings to his dad’s legs & cries. 2's/3's Teachers tell us to call the office because they're over (teacher to child ratio). Depending the day, I either call the office so a director goes into their class or if our class is down, I go into their classroom.
9:00am - Other little boy gets dropped off. Parent tells us when he’ll be needing his nebulizer treatment & signs the medical form. If it’s Mom dropping off, she tells us what time she’ll be picking up. If it’s Dad dropping off, we have no clue when pick up time will be. Also, Teacher #1 starts the 9:00 diaper changes for her primaries and other Teacher’s primaries (who doesn’t start until later). I start getting snack & drinks ready. Then we switch off so I can change my kids.
9:30am - Teachers get a short break to read/write in the communication log, write down diaper changes & snacks on the kids’ daily sheets, sign the allergy sheet (which we never actually look at because we all know the kids & what allergies they have, and whether or not they get water or juice for snack time) and just sit & make sure kids are using their manners. Also, Teacher #3 walks in. Her primary children = very excited to see her. By then, we have 6-7 kids (Our numbers have been pretty low lately. See note below)
9:45am - Clean up floors & tables. I do art project with the kids one by one. Teacher #1 does Circle Time (read books/sing songs). Teacher #3 makes sure kids don’t kill each other. Play!
10:00am - Twins from one of the infant rooms visit for an hour everyday. They’re 17-months-old but are not walking. They’ve been observed. Consultant does not want them to move up until they’re walking.
10:30am - Put away toys. Get kids’ jackets on & go outside. One of us has to stand constantly by the slide because the crazy kids think it's hilarious to give us mild heart attacks by trying to walk down the slide!
10:55am - Start gathering up the kids to go back inside. Some of them listen. Most of them you have to pick them up because they want to stay outside. Take the twins back.
11:00am - Jackets off. Diaper changes. Wash hands. Bibs on. Chairs out. Lunch time.
11:10am - 11:45am - Make sure kids are sitting nicely, eating nicely, attempting to use their spoons, saying “please” instead of just yelling “more!” When the kids start getting fussy & want to get up from the table, we pass out the fruit. They all love fruit!
11:45am - 12:00pm - Clean up kids, floors, tables, mirrors, chairs, everything . It looks like there was a food fight in our classroom.. everyday.. =] While I'm rinsing the dishes, my 16-month-old cries by my feet, yelling "mommy! mommy!" (She wants her paci). I tell her I'm not her mommy and ask if she forgot my name. She stops crying to think and then says, "Daddy!" I laugh & tell her that's not my name. She remembers and starts crying "Shawah! Shawah!" (Sarah) It's so cute I stop rinsing dishes to pick her up & give her her pacifier. Depending on day, start naptime. Some kids stay on their cots. Most need a teacher to sit next to them to help them fall asleep. My 19-month-old primary child cries because she never wants to sleep. Lights out in the entire center at 12pm.
12:30pm - Teacher #1 goes on lunch break. Teacher #3 & I prepare art for next day, write in the kids’ daily sheets, chat, laugh about things that we or the kids did.
1:00pm - 2:00pm - I take my lunch break. I get an hour because I have a longer work day.
2:00pm - Some of the kids are up. Teacher #3 goes on her lunch break. Start diaper changes. Try to get the kids to play quietly; remind them our friends are still sleeping!
3:00pm - Everyone’s awake. Lights on. Finish diapers. Snack time!
3:15pm - Teacher #1 leaves for the day. (She starts at 6:45am)
3:30pm - Clean up snack. Go outside! Kids start going home. My 19-month-old goes to the gate and starts saying “Mommy coming. Mama, where are you?” even though she doesn't get picked up until after I leave. Another little girl starts crying. She gets sad every afternoon as soon as she sees her friends getting picked up by their mommies & daddies.
4:00pm - 5:00pm - Come inside. Diaper changes (I do my kids. Teacher #3 does her kids & Teacher #1’s kids). Play! More kids go home.
5:00pm - I make sure Teacher #3 is okay (bathroom break, etc) and say goodbye to all the kids, which includes hugs & blowing kisses or real kisses depending on the kids' moods. I stop by the 2’s room to say goodbye to the kids I once had in my room. I go home. Most kids are gone.
Sorry, it’s not very detailed. Throughout the day, there is a lot of playing, talking, laughing, spelling out “bad” words so the kids don’t repeat what we’re saying to each other. I love my co-workers, directors/bosses, the kids. Our current group of kids are 16-19 months old. Our room is licensed for 15 kids, but we currently have 10 kids enrolled. Most of them are part-time. So on our highest day, we have 7 kids. We also have primary caregivers. Each teacher has a group of 3-5 kids that are “her” kids, to help with attachment & relationship skills and whatnot. Overall, I love my job.