Transitioning into Daycare- My Student Teaching Experience
My only option was to have my little one start daycare to complete my student teaching requirements. I was not anticipating having to put him in daycare. Because of all the horror stories and missing out on activities with him, I dreaded the day he had to start.
Summer quickly turned into fall and my husband had to drop him off on his first day of daycare while I began student teaching. He cried every time he dropped him off and when I arrived to pick him up he looked like a zombie. He had snot running down his nose and tears streaming down his cheeks. He wandered around uncomforted. I wanted to take him out of daycare and stop student teaching. I would cry in the car and call my mom wanting the experience to be over. I was existing and trying my best to keep up with everything. I had no time to myself or to breathe. I felt immense guilt. The daycare even advised me to pick him up earlier since he was having such a hard time adjusting. I did not know what to do and began feeling burned out. I gave it my all every day.
Luckily, life seemed smoother by his third or fourth week. He knew the schedule, teachers, and friends. Including, daycare helped with his socialization and taught him new things. I also did not have as many assignments which lowered my stress.
What I learned
If I could rewind back and change anything it would be to bring him into daycare the week prior to my student teaching. I would also pick him up earlier so he has shorter days to adjust. That way he could have a practice week. I would also advise bringing an item they are familiar with such as a stuffed animal.
Overall, at the end of my semester, I enjoyed being able to see what it would be like to work. It allowed me to figure out what works best for me and what feels right. It was nice being able to focus on teaching but it was also beyond exhausting pouring energy into other people's kids. I had to come home and still have a full cup to take care of my little one. I was thankful for the people I met during my student teaching which helped the time more enjoyable.
The picture below is of his second day at daycare. It was the most challenging getting pictures and not being able to love on him. Time is so precious and I am blessed I get to be at home and teach him. No matter what you choose as a parent it is a sacrifice. I knew I wanted that time with him and work on what I wanted more at home. The Balancing Act talks further about this topic. A special shout out to my mom for keeping me sane and my husband for helping me complete my bachelor's.