Thursday, February 14, 2013

Physical Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals

While I was teaching my class of early childhood curriculum students today I made someone giggle...well actually today was filled with giggles for some reason...but something I did was apparently surprising to one student in particular.  I was demonstrating what not to do when teaching their first lesson in their I assumed my traditional teaching position, "criss-cross applesauce", except so they could see me I was on top of a table...which I guess my agility and grace was shocking.  

After class, my head was spinning thinking about the flexibility and other physical skills that one must possess to work with young children.  Many job descriptions for early childhood positions 
mention the following physical demands:  occasional lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling; some climbing and balancing; some stooping, kneeling, crouching, and/or crawling; and some fine finger dexterity. Generally the job requires 10% sitting, 45% walking, and 45% standing. 

I think we should keep it real and let people know what they are getting themselves is my expanded list of Physical Requirements for Early Childhood Professionals:

  1. occasional lifting--baby, toddler, chunky preschooler, Scholastic book order box
  2. carrying--chunky preschooler from playground to classroom, stack of nap cots
  3. flexibility--stretching to pat the backs of two nappers while their cots are regulation distance apart
  4. stamina--Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes is easy...can you keep up with Tony Chestnut after the Bear Hunt?
  5. ability to push your pain threshold--length of time until you can get to some headache medication on a rainy day when someone brings out the box of instruments...the day after a candy holiday
  6. finger dexterity--ability to lead finger-plays, find the end of a skein of yarn, scotch tape, unknot shoe laces, and remove splinters
  7. climbing--ability to climb on a chair in the classroom to reach something on a high shelf with ninja stealth so that you are not be seen by children
  8. germ resistance--ability to stay healthy despite the dirty tissues in your pocket that do not belong to you
  9. balancing--ability to balance an adult size rear end on a child size chair
  10. standing--skill to stand upright after sitting in a child size chair or floor, more skill if you were holding chunky preschooler on your lap
  11. eye sight--ability to read books in near darkness at naptime also handy in the detection of lice
  12. alertness--need to remain upright and awake in near darkness while listening to the purring of children sleeping with an Enya CD playing in the background
  13. urinary continence--ability to hold it until you can get to an adult size potty (if not--this requires an more flexibility and balancing talent if available potty is child sized)
  14. medical knowledge--chicken pox or mosquito bites?
I am sure the list could go on and on...but if you really knew all the demands of working with young children would you still sign up?

1 comment:

  1. Yess.... And 15. You must have tough feet and (cute but) sensible shoes, as preschoolers seem to stand on your feet. A lot. Wear flip-flops, and you are just asking for it.