Teachers are taught to be reflective practitioners. To do so, the teacher must write down her observations. There are many techniques for logging observations and anecdotes, many of which I will describe in future posts. I preferred the the so-called running record. The running record allows you to record a child's behavior in a narrative format.
I recently dug around in boxes in my basement to find some running records from when I had my day care in 1996. I discovered a very funny log, written by one of my assistants. I believe it exemplifies the challenges and care each early childhood professional gives to her work.
“During nap, C. had a bowel movement (BM). Mom mentioned that because of the antibiotics, his BMs are loose. Well, when I went check on him, I saw that he had pulled his pull up down to his knees and had pooped in the crib as well. He also smeared it on his hands, legs and a bit on his face. ABSOLUTELY GROSS! I wrote mom a note about it [this is way before email, WiFi or cell phones were means of communication] but she really did not say much.”
I am not sure what a parent is supposed to say when greeted with a note about a son finger-painting his body and sleep space with his own feces, except maybe, “Thank you, and is there anything I can do to help clean up?”
My assistant had already cleaned everything, and even if she had not yet had a chance to clean the crib, I know she would not have accepted the mom’s help. Nevertheless, these little gestures express empathy, and go a very long way to support the early childhood teacher, especially on days when she checks on a child during nap time and finds more than she expected