Work experiences in the social sphere, especially in education, differ from person to person, and some of those experiences can be described as poor. It is especially noticeable in working with younger children because it might initially seem that connecting with children of that age is demanding, and these kinds of jobs are not well-suited for everyone. I work as a teacher in Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program, and I would like to share my insight into the specifics of this job.
Certainly, the job comes with challenges, and there are different facets to it. First, there is the administrative or organizational aspect. There are standard requirements for a job like this, which require eligible candidates to have a multitude of soft and hard skills. The responsibilities include many things, from developing an appropriate curriculum to coordinating meal preparation, and having such a vast scope of responsibility is both rewarding and difficult. With many tasks at hand, it is easy for the person to wear themselves out, which might lead to burnout (Salmela-Aro et al., 2019). Sometimes there are organizational issues that fall outside the scope of the worker’s control, and, like in all places, management miscommunication can also occur. Nonetheless, getting accustomed to this pace of work is generally beneficial in the modern world.
Another aspect that must be considered is the actual work with children. Work in this field is often described as challenging because it is characterized by high levels of personal involvement on a daily basis (Yakhnich, 2022). Indeed, working with children is more emotionally demanding than working with adults, in some parts, since young children cannot regulate their emotions as well as older people (Thurston et al., 2018). However, receiving genuine positive feedback from the children I work with is emotionally gratifying.
Overall, this job’s advantages outweigh the presumed disadvantages in my experience. The negative aspects of the work primarily present themselves in the form of organizational issues, but the essential part of the job for me is getting to work with children. I can confidently say that the coworkers, the children’s families, and the children themselves are the primary reason I have chosen this job, and they are also the primary reason I stay in the field.
Salmela-Aro, K., Hietajärvi, L., & Lonka, K. (2019). Work burnout and engagement profiles among teachers. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2254.
Yakhnich, L. (2022, January). “I Did a Lot of Good Today”: Child and Youth Care Workers’ Perceptions of Their Work. In Child & Youth Care Forum (pp. 1-20). Springer US.
Thurston, H., Bell, J. F., & Induni, M. (2018). Community-level adverse experiences and emotional regulation in children and adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 42, 25-33.