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Why I'm ambivalent about pursuing a career in children's services...

I love working with children and i believe in our ever detached society where far too many children spend far too many hours in child care from far too young an age, there is a dire need for carers who are consciously emotionally responsive, respectful and reliable.

Sadly, it seems I'm a bit shallow. Here's what happened today that highlighted for me why I'm ambivalent about pursuing a career in children's services...

I was at the hair dressers and as they're wont to do, he asked me if i was having a day off from work. I told him I'd just finished a course, but was still working on another course and was hoping to start work really soon. He asked what sort of work it was, i said it was in childten's services and as many have done in recent times he said, "Oh." in that kind of way that suggests they think you're pretty much a babysitter... I quickly added that children's services is what I do to pay the bills. He then asked what my other course was and I told him a Master of Arts in Crrative Writing and thst I was writing a novel, to which he responded brighly, "Oh! You're a writer!"...

There it is. Being a writer just sounds more impressive than caring for tomorrows doctors, prime ministers, and celebrities...

I admit, I felt kind of dirty because I all but agreed with this guy that writing was far more appealing than children's servives. I'd said - wait for it - it's a good thing I like kids! Just call me Judas!

Comments

Rachael said…
Hey that's why I hang on to my engineering ambitions. Far more interesting to tell people I'm an engineer than a million other things I could do.

Yup I'm shallow like that.
Leah said…
The young, presumably childless osteo asked what I'd done BEFORE I had kids, not sure why, if it was making conversation or part of the info gathering - what I did 7 years ago hardly seems relevant to either light chit chat or my bloody foot LOL I really think he wanted to ascertain what "kind" of person I was via a job. I hope he was suitably impressed cause what I did sounds a lot better in name than actuality LOL
Sif said…
LOl! Good to know it's not just me!

Frustrating though! Was at the graduation last night, and being that it was for graduates of peiple in care professions (children and the elderly), i did notice a fair bit of, "Remember, what you're doing is important!"... I think caring for people, as parents, carers, and trained professionals is terribly under valued in our society, especially when compared to professions where people sit alone in a room making up stories, or run around a field kicking a leather bag of air...
Dean said…
Im an early childhood teacher and I get those 'oh's' all the time. 3 years at uni and over 10 years experience and Im still a 'babysitter', lol. No wonder we are so badly paid and recognised in society!

But it is a rewarding career and I would imagine that its very compatible with writing. You will gain lots of insights into people and you will be able to explore and nurture your imagination all day long!

Good luck, I think you will be a wonderful, caring and inspiring child educator!

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