I never before realized the extent a day care is involved in a child's upbringing. Some of the kids spend close to 12 hours a day there, five days a week. It is safe to say that in many cases the teachers know the child better than their parents. By the time some parents pick up their kids at the end of the day, there is enough time to have dinner, spend a couple of hours together and then put them to bed, only to drive them to day care the next morning. The teachers I worked with this week, realize how crucial their role is and take it very seriously. Ken, the director at Nature's Childcare has an amazing vision for the center - he wants to bring attention to the importance of providing quality childcare, positive role models, and wants to make Nature's Childcare the best childcare facility in the state of Idaho. I have no doubt he will.
There are not many male figures in childcare as it is generally characterized as a female dominated industry and Ken has been discriminated in the past as a result. This is also something he intends to change as it is so important that children have positive male role models in their life as well as female. Although at first he may seem a bit intimidating in his 6'6", 300 pound frame, he is the coolest guy, and extremely kind and gentle. The center is lucky to have him there.
One thing I realized recently is that the jobs I have found my co-workers to be the most happy and passionate were the ones where they believe they are positively impacting others, making a meaningful contribution to society, and held a clear vision of how they are making the world a better place. They are making a difference and know how important their role is. Working at Dojang Martial Arts Studio, they focused on developing a strong sense of community, getting the kids active, and leading a healthy lifestyle. It was evident in my week as a Cancer Fundraiser with Princess Margaret Foundation and I saw it again this week at Nature's Childcare.
It reminded me that in many instances the best way to help yourself is to focus on what you can to do help others.