Hello there! I'm a male preschool teacher who has been working in the field for about 10 years now. I've worked in daycares, community outreach programs, hospitals, a university lab school, and public schools. I usually have to keep the gay thing to myself. I'm almost always the only guy where I work (this can be both good and bad).

As a piece of proof, here is my RECE (registered early childhood educator) card (name and ID number blanked out). In Ontario you have to be registered with the Ontario College of Early Childhood Educators to call yourself an ECE. http://imgur.com/SXq4wCK

Edit: This has been lots of fun! I'm not going to be able to reply since I have cooking to do and rats to play with. Thank you all for the questions and the fun time. I may be able to answer some in the next couple of days, but it may be slow. If you have any other parent related questions, feel free to toss me a message :)

Edit 2: Holy Bunnies, unless I'm redditting wrong, I think I might have made it to the front page with this IAMA. You sure are curious people! I will try to keep answering questions, just not tonight. Still having a good time reading your discussions :)

Comments: 2117 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

Catch22ismybible2011 karma

How fast are your reaction times to random dick punches?

MissDaniel2212 karma

I learned the hard way. Tiny fists are tiny, but it doesn't take much pressure to do some damage. I'm nearly ninja quality.

imperabo376 karma

I tend to keep my hands on my crotch at all times around small children for this reason. I imagine this looks suspicious.

MissDaniel932 karma

As long as you don't look like you're enjoying it too much, it shouldn't -arouse- too much suspicion.

myeonxiu1252 karma

What is the parents' reaction towards you? Do they treat you differently in any way since you're a man? Any weird/invasive comments? Best of luck in your work :D

MissDaniel2433 karma

Lots of different reactions, I'm afraid.

With the older kids the reaction is generally more positive. I usually get "Oh they need to have more male role models, good for you! Good for you!" and the back patting starts. One school I worked in the parents then started coming to me for everything, even if their child wasn't in my class. It was kind of weird. The director would always put me up front through to show "yes, we have a man!". That said, the worst experience I had with a parents was a girl in 4th grade. She didn't like me since I would make her do her homework, so she would often tell her Dad awful things about me. What sort of things, I don't know, but he did show up several times to threaten me. Once physically. Since the director wouldn't do anything about it, I quit.

Younger kids, such as where I am now, are always tricky. The kids, boys especially, are all over me and try and use me as a jungle gym. Parents, especially parents of little girls, are always super wary at first. It often takes the parents a couple weeks to warm up to me, then I am treated no differently. Several times I've had parents specifically say they would rather I not change their child's diaper, they wanted female staff to do it. While insulting, I've taken the position that changing less diapers is ultimately a good thing.

I once heard a prospective parent ask who I was when they were being given a tour of the daycare. The director later told me that the mother didn't feel comfortable with me being in the centre and wouldn't leave their child here. The director was totally in support of me and said they'd rather have me than a closed minded parents.

The only weirdness I get in terms of comments would be that everyone, staff to parents, wants to know who/what I am dating. I think they want to know whether I am gay or not, so I am always deliberately obtuse.

ravageritual1354 karma

the mother didn't feel comfortable with me being in the centre and wouldn't leave their child here.

I'm in somewhat of a similar situation as you are. I'm a male BCBA and have been working with kids with autism for about 20 years. I have about 20 children ranging from 2-8 years old at my clinics. I'm married, and have children of my own, yet, I still get the occasional "I don't want you working alone with my son/daughter" (just yesterday I had a parent say that to me). Sadly, in the past five years I've had to call protective services to report abusive staff three times....all were for female staff members. I've never had to report a male.

MissDaniel1108 karma

It's awful. The suspicion you get for being a guy working with kids keeps guys out of these fields. In my opinion, anyways. I've had people tell me its 'creepy' for a guy to work with kids. Good for you for sticking it out for 20 years. I've worked with several children on the autism spectrum, kudos to you for working with them as you do. I can't be easy, but it sounds rewarding.

LordGalen838 karma

Former male teacher here. There were lots of reasons to quit. The last straw was when a parent came in to complain that I was obviously a pedophile because I'd wished her daughter a happy 5th birthday. She said she was a forensic investigator, so she knew about these things. I went as far away from the teaching field as I could get and would rather clean toilets for a living than to ever go back.

MissDaniel310 karma

I'm sorry you had to deal with that awful parent. I consider myself lucky, I haven't had anything that bad happen. Just a whole lot of small to medium things. Pity they lost a teacher because of parental stupidity.

Raudskeggr330 karma

A friend of mine, in Denmark, is a pedagogue who works with young kids. At several Denmark schools, male staff aren't permitted to bet left alone with the kids, without a female's "supervision".

Where did we get this notion that men who like kids must like kids? Statistically you're more likely to see kids sexually abused by females anyway.... Largely because most people caring for young children are.

MissDaniel138 karma

I'm not too sure where it comes from, I think it is because this isn't traditionally a 'man's field, so we distrust men who seek to enter fields that are going into a wrong field.

runtheplacered407 karma

I volunteered to help with my sons party in Kindergarten. As a white male it was kind of my first taste of discrimination. I never got assigned a station and although I still managed to find things to help with, at the end I swear the teacher looked directly at me and said "I want to thank all the MOMS for helping out today." One nice Mom leaned in and whispered to me "and Dad". But yeah, the sexism felt real in that room. Nothing but sneers and avoidance the whole time.

MissDaniel210 karma

I've experienced some little comments like that. I always make a point of adding "add men!" when the ladies get props. I've always tried to make dads feel welcome in my classroom, because it doesn't always happen.

rastapasta80894 karma

Male second grade teacher. Can't agree with you more. Good for you man, preschool is one of the hardest age groups to teach. So much prep work and wrangling!

MissDaniel69 karma

I usually have to spend at least one full day a week just doing prep for the upcoming week. And when you consider that there are 3 of us in the classroom doing it, that's a lot of work.

paisleyscottydog282 karma

Its so sexist! I run a dayhome and had a prospective client ask that my husband not be home when her child was there because she felt it was "weird." Kind of defeats the purpose of a day HOME!

MissDaniel264 karma

Sexist is exactly what it is. But for some reason it is the only kind of sexist. Because men can't be trusted around little kids... or something.

JohnnyLargeCock108 karma

Well? So are you gay or straight or what?

MissDaniel831 karma

Really gay. But sometimes what.

JohnnyLargeCock73 karma

If people knew that, do you think it would make your job easier or more difficult and why?

MissDaniel148 karma

Where I am now I think it might make it a little easier. The parents want to know everything about the teachers, and they all seem very open. Previous places I've worked I needed to keep in the closet, or I would have not had a job for all that much longer.

Scarletfapper87 karma

As a guy who did a couple years in primary schools, I just want to say : respect. I had relatively minimal contact with parents but there were some weird attitudes out there.

MissDaniel225 karma

Worst parts of working with children would be the parents. Hands down.

Daerdemandt22 karma

1) Supply of men in the field is significantly lower

2) Preschools would like to have both male and female teachers.

This should result in men getting higher pay for the same job. Are you getting higher pay than your female colleagues, one of my assumptions is wrong or there are some additional mechanisms at play?

MissDaniel76 karma

The supply of men in my field is significantly lower. To work in my province (Ontario) you need to register with the College of Early Childhood Educators. Last I heard the number of men registered with the college is around 1%.

Your 2nd assumption is partially incorrect. Lots of preschools desperately want at least one man, but there are many out there that will never hire a man. I've been flat out told by potential employers "a man working with young kids is creepy. We'd never hire you". Where I am now desperately wanted one, but the supervisor had to check with the company owner first to make sure it was okay to hire me.

I haven't ever gotten more than any other employee based on gender before, mostly because there isn't too much money in childcare period. Where I am now though, because it is privately owned, I am getting paid more than some of my co-workers. Partially because I'm a guy (potentially), but I do have more education/experience than most of my co-workers. While most have their 2 year college diploma in ECE, I have my MA in early childhood studies.

ortho_engineer48 karma

My mother in law is an elementary school principal, and has told me that when sorting through the hundreds of resumes they get for open positions, all males candidates that apply automatically make it through to interviews.

And she told me this as if it was something she was proud of..... I told her she needs to never say that out loud to anyone ever again.

MissDaniel32 karma

Yeah, I've been told that in interviews and it isn't a positive feeling. I don't need to know that the only thing that let me beat out all the other applicants was what was in my pants. But it happens. A guy in education stands out, for better or worse.

Kezika31 karma

I've been flat out told by potential employers "a man working with young kids is creepy. We'd never hire you".

Are there any sort of anti-discrimination laws where you are that prevent a prospective employer for denying based on gender? If so, and you could prove in court that they did say that with a recording (if legal in your jurisdiction) or something I would be pursuing that just simply for the sake of stamping out such a stigma and showing those kind of businesses that no, it is not okay to be doing that.

MissDaniel25 karma

Truth be told, there probably are legal avenues that could be explored. I never have, though. I've just always moved on and looked elsewhere. It would be neat to see what happens, though, if someone were to follow through and file a compliant with the human rights tribunal. Food for thought!

Daerdemandt-33 karma

I haven't ever gotten more than any other employee based on gender before, mostly because there isn't too much money in childcare period.

That's not how it works. If supply of people with trait A is higher than demand, those people worth less than people without said trait - and vice versa. If you are somewhat free to change your employer then employer who adjust their pay accordingly would look more attractive and get better employees and thus make more money.

If you are willing to pay equal money for employees with trait A and without that trait then your demand for people with trait A and without it is somewhat equally met.

Seems that demand for male preschool teachers is as miniscule as supply is.

If they simply had not enough money they wouldn't be able to hire anyone.

MissDaniel6 karma

That would certainly be true, if not for the fact that childcare is already expensive enough that many quality centers are closing their doors. Even lab schools attached to colleges and universities are being forced to shut down. ECE's effectively subsidize the cost of parental childcare by taking on low wages. I'm very lucky with the center I am working in now, but the only reason they can afford more competitive wages if because they market specifically to wealthier clients and charge parents per more more than I spend on rent.

For profit centers are privately owned and any money spent on hiring staff means less goes into the owner's pocket. Many of these, but by far not all, tend to be lower quality and pay lower.

Not-for-profit take in most of their money from government levels and parental fees, and really have to account for every single penny they spend. We always had to fundraise just to get extra craft supplies.

Not much more money to go around, thus generally lower pay rate. I'm just really lucky with where I am now.

Daerdemandt-9 karma

If they simply had not enough money they wouldn't be able to hire anyone.

That would certainly be true, if not for the fact that childcare is already expensive enough that many quality centers are closing their doors

You're especially forced to pick competitive options in situations like that. If acquiring "token" teacher will pay off more than hiring a regular teacher then you're pretty much forced to do it - firing a regular teacher for that if you don't have enough money. Seems ugly, but bad financial situation seems like really unsuitable place for not efficient actions.

The whole situation doesn't look good. Efficient businesses providing quality services should not be closing as long as market is not dying.

Do parents chose other centers for some reasons or just opt out of preschool altogether?

If they choose some other schools of a lesser quality, why? Are those significantly cheaper? Or are there some things parents misunderstand en masse and misestimate the QoS preschools provide - thus, picking good-looking ones instead of good ones?

MissDaniel5 karma

A lot of parents opt out of preschool because they cannot afford preschool. In some cases it is cheaper to have one parent stay home. My current daycare charges approximately $1,900 a month for infants, $1,800 for toddler, and $1,600 for preschool. This is just slightly higher than mid-range from what I've experienced.

Parents typically only choose based on two criteria: 1) can I afford it, 2) can I get to it. A daycare isn't worth choosing if they close at 6pm but it will take you 2 hours to get there in rush hour traffic. The theory is that parents have choice, but really they are stuck with either what is locally available, or if they cannot afford it, they stay home with the kids.

Confidence has been erroded lately in my province after some high profile deaths of children in low quality centers. Parents honestly had no idea these places were awful because they never bothered to look. They just saw that they could afford them, they were close enough to home, and they went with it. Parents don't generally look much further than that.

Thomasasia976 karma

Do you ever talk to adults as if they are a preschooler by accident, due to habit or something?

MissDaniel2266 karma

All the time. I've been accused of using my teacher voice on people, which I tell them if they weren't acting like kids I wouldn't need to use.

I use my 'swear alternatives' like "oh bunnies" and "cheese and crackers" instead of actually swearing now.

We tell the preschoolers (aged 2-5) when someone does something they don't like to say, "No thank you, I don't like that!". I say that to my boyfriend all the time when he bothers me. You have to say it somewhat slowly, and really pronounce each word.

Br0g4n594 karma

Do you ever go to watch a game at a bar and catch yourself yelling "oh bunnies"

MissDaniel1293 karma

Sadly yes. Sometimes I just want to swear like a grown up and boom. Bunnies.

plasticsheeting396 karma

I found after working in childcare for a few years, I would frequently end up asking my adult friends if they had to go to the bathroom before we left anywhere...

It really intensified working in a daycare.

MissDaniel362 karma

I do that too. I also constantly do spot counts of how many people are in the room and always check that all my friends are in eyeshot. It gets annoying :P

chupacabrawitch395 karma

Haha, that's so cute, one of our friends we know works at a preschool and she is definitely guilty of using the preschool swear alternatives. I think I might have to use "Oh bunnies" from now on.

MissDaniel492 karma

I stole "Oh Bunnies" from my aunts. They all drink and swear like sailors, and they needed something to safe when my mother would bring my brother and I around. It has served its purpose :)

HeyBudHessel278 karma

Guy pre-k teacher for Head Start here. I'm stealing "Oh bunnies!" Thank you so much for this thread. It's a unique life we live.

MissDaniel159 karma

Take and enjoy!

burntbpd923 karma

What are some life lessons little kids have taught you that every adult needs to know?

MissDaniel2661 karma

Off the top of my head:

  • Just because you want it doesn't mean you can hit someone over the head and take it.
  • Sometimes you just need a cuddle.
  • The best time to be nice is when you get absolutely nothing out of it.
  • It is okay to be sad, and you don't need to put your tears away.

DebonaireSloth310 karma

Just because you want it doesn't mean you can hit someone over the head and take it.

You should work in foreign policy for either/any/all of the 5 UNSC permanent members.

MissDaniel178 karma

If they ever need me, they know where to find me.

skinydonut3 karma

Sometimes I could really use a cuddle as well.

MissDaniel6 karma

If you ever need one, don't be afraid to ask.

ZhouLe549 karma

What's the most socially awkward or embarassing (for anyone involved) situation you have experienced because of your uncommon gender/occupation combination?

MissDaniel1655 karma

There was one boy, about 2 and a half, that was really taken with me. He even got his mother to get his hair cut to look like mine. For some reason he started yelling "I love rainbows" and would hug me. When he would hug me he would rub his face into me. Because of his height, this would mean he was mashing his face into my crotch and effectively motorboating my man-parts. My co-teachers in my room thought this was HILARIOUS. No matter how much I told him not to he kept doing this. Finally one day he just walked up and grabbed my junk. I told my director, who laughed, then said I should tell mom.

So I had to tell a 2 year old's mom that her son was molesting me at work. I don't know who was more embarrassed, her or I. It had to stop though, because if a parent saw that at the wrong time, hello police!

somedude456523 karma

Can I go to the bathroom?

MissDaniel1228 karma

No, you can't. You don't need to pee, you're just bored.

idleactivist494 karma

How many hot moms dads have you had sexual relations with?

MissDaniel1174 karma

None, though I do know a few dads have given me the eye. I occasionally have grindr on my phone (just for... um... networking or friends... or something) and I see them pop up when they drop their kids off. Sometimes with their wives. Not getting mixed up in that. Even if hot dads are really hot.

coreofapple378 karma

I have two boys in daycare in Ontario. I just want to say thank you for what I am sure you have to put up with on a daily basis. Daycare has been fantastic for my little dudes and if I don't get renewed for subsidy next year it will be heartbreaking because I sure as heck can't afford the $1500/month it would take to keep them there.

So question, as my almost two year old is lying on the ground screaming, what is your best tantrum trick?

MissDaniel678 karma

The subsidy system is so broken. I really hope that you can hold onto it, I know how hard parents have it. And of course the system is designed to be as confusing as humanly possible.

What tends to set off the tantrums? I find that tantrums are generally more of a show for the parents than they are the children really being that upset. We have lots of parents who tell us they deal with tantrums at home, which is always strange to hear because we never see them in the centre. For me tantrums are two step: Calmly tell them that they are okay, they are not hurt, and if they want a hug they can come and have one. Then I walk away. Not too far away, but just out of their eyesight. Tantrums really need an audience. As long as they are not hurting themselves or in danger, put yourself just out of view. And stick to your guns. If they are having a tantrum to get something, don't give in. Don't give it. If you already said no then keep firm.

stephyt343 karma

My 3 year old son's favorite teacher at preschool is a guy! The director is his sister. He was awesome at calming my son down after my asshat monster in law upset him right before class pictures. That was some magic right there. Even I can't stop a screamy cry like that.

What is your favorite work memory thus far?

MissDaniel750 karma

Working my calming magic, I would say. We had a boy who was prone to fits. Very violent and long fits. Anything could set him off, but you generally saw it coming. I was able to calm him down... through baking. We'd make banana muffins. We called them angry muffins, and he could beat the dough as much as he wanted too. Getting kids doing something sensory seems to really focus them. We made so many muffins, but no one cared. It was the calmest the boy had ever been.

Eternally65284 karma

Did you mean to say "guy" or "gay" in your title?

MissDaniel389 karma

I meant to say guy, since people tend to notice that first. They only notice the gay part if they spend enough time around me. Don't worry, not a typo :)

Gh0stWalrus103 karma

i just noticed, your name is MissDaniel... MISS, whats the story behind that?

MissDaniel530 karma

A lot of my students call me Miss Daniel, since they don't know the difference between Mr. And Miss. Since they have ever only had female teachers before, I get called Miss Daniel all the time by the kids.

tkyocoffeeman0 karma

The gay "part", eh?

MissDaniel19 karma

Well, it's a pretty 'noticeable' part... once you get to know me. Or buy me a drink.

Prison_Vape3 karma

The user name kinda gave it away for me.

MissDaniel3 karma

Actually the username is because the kids don't know the difference between Mr. and Miss. We keep trying to get the kids to call me Mr. Daniel, but since every other teacher so far has been a Miss, I'm Miss Daniel. Whether I want to be or not.

obiedo280 karma

How old are you?

Are the kids any different than you remember your generation to be?

MissDaniel461 karma

Thanks for the question!

I'm 32 years old, and I've noticed lots of changes from what I remember as a child. Especially the slightly older crowd (meaning ages 7 to 12). I once worked in a school aged program where my students were all grades 3 to 6. The difference there... hoo boy. The kids, girls especially, are behaving how I remember behaving in mid high school. The styles of dress, the way they talk, their interests... all seems much older than I remember. Technology plays a part (they all have cellphones and ipods now... I wasn't even on ICQ till I was 12). Culture, most likely. The younger crowd, 2 to 4 years old, seems pretty much as I remember. When I was that age I was obsessed with Fraggle Rock. Now they have Bubble Guppies and Paw Patrol. And I'm sure their parents hate those as much as mine hated muppets ;)

obiedo138 karma

The styles of dress, the way they talk, their interests... all seems much older than I remember.

Is this a good thing, bad thing, or an "it is what it is"-type thing, based on what you've been able to observe?

MissDaniel505 karma

The technology is more of a 'it is what it is' type thing. It's the world they live in and that connects them to everything around them. Just a different way of growing up.

The behaving older thing though... that worries me, particularly since it seems to be far more the girls than the boys. To make matters worse it is very stereotypical: mall, boys, clothes, pink, makeup. I've had several girls I've worked with the last few years who would actually pretend to be less intelligent than they were to fit into this new culture. And girls who still want to do things like play pretend or create arts and crafts, by the ripe old age of 8, are slowly being considered weird. I find that kind of distressing.

Daver89983 karma

No one hates The Muppets

MissDaniel53 karma


idgelee168 karma

I appreciate when there are male daycare professionals around as it's an important influence and an important type of interaction with the kids overall. We use the US military daycare system called Childhood Development Center for our daughter (it's the same program no matter where we move so it provides consistency for kids who don't have that in their life as a general rule) and will likely use it for our son as well who will be born shortly.

I work hard to treat male teachers and female teachers the same as I see a number of parents turning to the women for daily reports when they aren't the main teacher the male is, or worse complaining about male teachers to directors.

Is there something in particular that would help from the parent side? I'd like to continue seeing male educators/daycare workers overall, and sometimes it feels like there is only one token male teacher.

MissDaniel178 karma

Having always been that one token male teacher, it can sometimes get a little discouraging. It helps you stand out, but it also means if you do anything wrong you really stand out.

Best piece of advice would be what we are always told to do with the kids: catch the male teachers doing something good. A little compliment to either them or the directors on something your child said or something you observed goes a long way. It really really does.

Also I'm not familiar with the Childhood Development Center, not being American, but that sounds like a fantastic idea. For kids who might move around a lot that seems like a perfect way to give them some stability.

idgelee46 karma

It's a good theory but now having experienced the differences I'd say it's not always put into practice. We recently moved, and the previous location definitely spoiled us by how nice, new, and very well staffed that location is. Her new location is mediocre in every way especially the staff - which to me is the most important aspect.

I am always vocal about complements to the teachers/staff. I appreciate the hardwork it is to take care of 20 2-year-olds while keeping everyone on a schedule. It's like herding cats I'd imagine.

Daycare has taught my daughter so much more independence than I can possibly thank them for. Good to know I've been reenforcing the decision to hire good staff where I can.

What's your worst moment with a parent? (I know they are sometimes worse than the kids!)

MissDaniel80 karma

Changing locations can always be hard, especially if the new spot is just sort of punching in and out. It's a field where it is really hard to be motivated if the rest of the teachers around you are not. Have you spoken with the director about the differences in staff you've noticed from location to location? It doesn't need to be complaint, you can even say something like "back at our last centre we noticed the staff used to X Y Z, do you folks ever do that here?"

My room right now is 24 children aged 2.5 - 4. Comparing the to cats is generous.

Two parent moments come to mind. I mentioned it once here already but I had one parents who physically threatened me because of rumours his daughter had started. She was in grade 4 and mad with me because I would make her do her homework. I don't know what exactly she told him but one day he threatened me, said he would find a way to hurt me the way I hurt his daughter, all infront of the director who said nothing.

And not as big, but still bothered me. I once worked in a toddler program as the opening shift staff. I would get breakfast for all the kids. One mom would always arrive early, but would stay in the room with her child and have breakfast with him until a female staff member would arrive. If a female staff member was opening she would just drop off and leave. But with me she would stay. The most awkward part was that she would never look at me or speak with me while she was in the room.

edmanet168 karma

Is it a tumor?

MissDaniel385 karma


pasalaska134 karma

Do you get treated differently by other teachers?

MissDaniel302 karma

Sometimes I do. I've had co-workers assume I know nothing, I've had co-workers flat out tell me that there is no way that I can be as good at the job as them. I've had co-workers gossip about me.

That said, more often than not we get along wonderfully. They see me as more than just someone to kill bugs and carry heavy things ;) Usually it is all good, but childcare tends to attract a lot of drama.

Astilaroth106 karma

Can't comment directly without it being removed by bots since it's not a question, so i'll just respond randomly to you here :)

So sorry, not a question but experience in the sector.

I work for a large day care organisation in a country that sadly dealt with an extremely serious case of sexual abuse by a male day care worker a few years ago (think penetration of children as young as a few months old). It has had a huge impact here on males working in our sector, which is such a shame. So i just want to applaud you for doing what you do, despite the prejudice you often meet.

You might like the fact that my current obstetrician is a guy btw! Huge one too, wouldn't make a bad lumberjack. He tends to compare his beer belly to my pregnant belly. Apparently neither of us has been able to see our own genitals directly for a while haha.

Take care dude. Working with kids is awesome.

MissDaniel94 karma

Thanks for the kind words ;) Working with kids is awesome. Very awesome.

I've read different reports, so I think I know which country you're speaking of. It's the cloud that hangs over every male teacher's head. You always have to worry that something you do or something you say could be taken to mean you're a child abusing paedophile. It's a chill that can freeze you. I always make sure I tell my director anything that could appear wrong... like the one boy who kept grabbing my junk.

Guys in non-traditional occupational roles are awesome. Thanks for the comments and story :D

Astilaroth75 karma

The Netherlands :)

It is tricky indeed. I'm a female but once noticed a large red handprint on the back of one of my kids when i was changing him. He was about 2,5 years old. I asked him if it hurt while i patted him there gently, but he was just eager to go play. I obviously told my coworker, my boss and his parents. His parents asked him at home about it and the little dude responded with pointing to his back and saying 'Astilaroth. Hurts'. Gah. Thank god i was on extremely good standing with his parents who immediately understood he was referring to me asking their kid if it hurt, instead of doing the hurting. It could have become a serious clusterfuck if they had somehow blamed me.

Turned out his older sister handled him a bit roughly while play fighting ... but it still worries me how easily i could have been in huge trouble. For guys that's even more of a concern!

MissDaniel71 karma

Oh, always. I see a single mark or scratch on a child and I document it. Last thing I need is for something to come and bite me in the behind. The other staff sometimes think that I am an over-sharer with my director, but my director knows very well that I have to cover myself extra. Thank God she's supportive. Also, don't you just wish the little kids could say what they mean sometimes!

Astilaroth68 karma

Also, don't you just wish the little kids could say what they mean sometimes!

Like when a kid asked why my boobs are so tiny compared to those of her mom? Yeah no :P

MissDaniel54 karma

That's the kind of stuff I like sharing with parents, just to make my day a little brighter!

SkullsAndPortraits102 karma

What's your most memorable moment when conversating with one of your students?

MissDaniel419 karma

The ones that comes up mind right now is this:

A asked a 3 year old girl what she wanted to have in her cup (we were playing in the dramatic area). She asked for wine. She must have noticed the look I gave her because she followed up with "Not real wine, real wine is for mummy's mug. I have have real wine the police will take me away"

jaymeekae198 karma

Ahaha i love the idea of a dramatic area. I need that in my house.

What time is it

MissDaniel95 karma

I love it ;)

I keep wanting to change the name, but I keep getting outvoted.

burntbpd94 karma

Do little kids approach you differently regarding their personal problems than a female teacher. Are they just as open about their emotions or are they wary. Little kids who are not that into gender roles yet. What is their natural reaction?

MissDaniel227 karma

With the younger crowd (under 2-6) I find more boys will come to me with problems. Keep in mind that problem at that age usually means someone hit them or took a toy. But boys in that age group will generally come to me more often than they will a female teacher.

With the slightly older crew (6 to 12), boys will continue to come to me. A few have really opened up about problems in school or at home. One told me he was glad to have me because he never had a teacher he could talk to before. Girls generally split who they will go to for what. Solving big fights they generally came to me, more personal (and potentially embarrassing) problems tended to get answered by female teachers.

You can totally see when kids start to get the gender roles. Normally around 2-3 from what I've observed. But I think the relationships you forge with them really play a part in how they react to you.

TheJonesSays86 karma

My gf is a preschool teacher and she is really annoying. Are all preschool teachers annoying?

MissDaniel201 karma

Yes. All of us. Without any exception. Every single one of us. All the time.

fsocieties85 karma

Do you feel any negative stereotypes around being a guy around children and being gay? A very closed minded woman once told me she would never let any gay guy near her son because she apparently thinks all gay guys are child molesters. Like have anyone taken their child out because they found out you were a guy and gay or like requested to change teachers?

MissDaniel176 karma

No one has taken their children out of programs I've been in, but I have been told by different directors that it may not be a good idea to let the parents know I'm gay. My coworkers have always known, but families not so much. Right now is actually the first time I've felt comfortable sharing that part of my life. I've dropped a few "partner" comments and used male pronouns, but no one has said anything negative. The worst has been a mother on a tour of the center say she wouldn't leave her child there because a man worked there. The director told her she could let the door hit her ass on the way out.

SilentStarryNight71 karma

I also work with kids in that age range, and could always learn more tricks of the trade. Have you cared for any kids who have not been able to live with one (or any) of their parents? How do you help them, when they may ask some tricky questions? I ask for all sorts of situations, including for foster care, living with non-parent relatives, and when one or more parents have (suddenly) died.

Nice username, by the way.

MissDaniel166 karma

My best advice with tricky situations is having a good quality book in your corner. There are lots around now, from deaths in the family to parents in jail, but they take a little digging to find. When they are having problems I will usually ask if they want to cuddle and read a book. It gives them vocabulary to express what they're feeling and you can ask leading questions to flesh everything out. Never underestimate the power of a good book.

MortDeRirre69 karma

Over this past few months in college I've been considering switching my career path and becoming a teacher in the future. My question is what made you decide to become a preschool teacher?

MissDaniel112 karma

What are you studying now, may I ask?

I started down this path because I've always known I've liked teaching, and I've liked working with younger children. You have to be willing to think very creatively and know how to make quality learning experiences without spending a lot of money ;)

It is harder work. You will be cleaning, making your own supplies, changing diapers, cleaning noses, dealing with the strangest parents you've ever seen, but it is worth it. You see so much growth in the kids. Also, you will receive more hugs per day than any other job on the planet.

MortDeRirre52 karma

I'm currently majoring in Biology. If you asked me what I wanted to do in the future several months ago I would have said to become a doctor. What greatly impacted and changed my mind was accepting a position in my university to tutor kids from the local elementary schools. Something just clicked. I always wanted to make a difference in someones life so I had always thought becoming a doctor will accomplish that, but after experiencing the little things I do and how I can change someones life entirely just by teaching them how to read or to understand the simple tricks around a math problem just stuck with me. Regarding the hugs, I get a minimum of 20 kids running and hugging me every time I step in the school and I got to tell you, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world.

MissDaniel86 karma

It certainly is one of the greatest feelings in the world. If I'm having a bad day I just go over to one of the toddler rooms and sit down. I get so many tiny hugs.

Watching kids have those 'ah-ha!' moments is amazing. I love it. It is why I picked my career path. I know I'll never make a fortune, but I'm happy... for now. The only thing I will caution, if you are thinking of making the change, is having an exit strategy. This is a field where you can burn out, and you may find someday that you want to get out. I got my degree and my MA (even though to work in this field you only really need your 2 year college diploma) because I know someday working the floor won't be as fulfilling as it is right now.

Angriestmanever66 karma

Hello Fellow preschool male teacher! I worked in construction for 10 years, then I broke my back, and due to the nice social security in my country I am taking a bachelor degree in pre school teaching!

I love working with kids for many reasons, but the main one for me is that kids will always tell you how they feel when you ask them!

Why did you go for this line of work?

MissDaniel62 karma

Much the same. Kids will tell you whatever they are thinking, no filter. It can be lots of fun. There is so much you can do with them at this age. I love it. I'm a natural caregiver, so it just made sense for me. I can give the best pick up and twirl hugs in the world (says so on my resume). Good for you for making such a dramatic career switch, even if your health sort of force the issue. Best of luck with your degree!

Killer-Barbie49 karma

I just got a job coaching preschool sports. This is my first time with this age group, the youngest I've worked with before is 5-7. what are some things I may have to adjust for the younger age group? What mistakes have you seen newcomers make? Any straight up advice?

MissDaniel90 karma

Preschool sports? You have my sympathy. What is the age range, oldest to youngest? Keep in mind that at this age they are still working on their gross motor control. Depending on what you are doing you may have to work a lot more on physical actions. Even just kicking a ball can be an accomplishment to some preschool children. Drill those gross motor skills over and over. Don't worry if you don't get much further than that for a while. How big is your group and are you the only person interacting with the kids? Are parents there? You're going to need a loud, firm voice to keep the kids under control. I strongly suggest you get some songs to transition between activities and to get their attention. Songs and singing help this group a lot. Be prepared for tears, inflexible children, and extremely limited attention spans. Prepare to transition every 10-15 minutes, but don't worry if you have to do so faster.

Killer-Barbie30 karma

3-5 and a group of ten. If I have more we'll break it up into multiple classes (one at 6, one at 7 type deal).

Our main goal is more to teach them to play together than the specific sport, so things like sharing the ball or everyone running the ball. We're not planning on teaching positions or have keepers this go around.

I have a few songs that my kindergarten friend taught me for catching attention (shave and a hair cut, have them do the two bits). I've also previously worked with deaf kids, but they typically concentrate better because they have to watch your body language, hands, and expressions to understand.

MissDaniel57 karma

Shave and a hair cut is good. A good one to get everyone to freeze is "Hands on top!" their call back is "That means stop!". If you ever find you can't get their attention talking/yelling, just sing whatever you are saying. It grabs attention fast. Working on those pre-sport skills sounds fantastic. 10 should be manageable, especially if you can avoid having the 2.5 year olds in there. That 6 months makes a huge difference.

akhilegends43 karma

Have you ever head that one kid who is so annoying, or have you ever had anyone held back multiple times?

MissDaniel113 karma

I've had lots of kids that have been so annoying. It is not a very preschool teacher opinion, but I firmly believe there are annoying, jerkish kids who grow up to be annoying jerkish grown ups.
Sadly, it isn't always their fault. The most annoying kids are generally the way they are because of how their parents raised them. I'm not talking about raising kids with certain ideas or cultures, but rather not knowing how to raise kids. I've had one parents tell me "I don't believe in discipline, so we don't at home". Yeah... I can tell.

Worst kid who was so annoying was a 12 year old boy in a school aged program. I don't blame him too much, who really wants to be in daycare when they are 12? But... he tried to get me fired when we had a provincial inspector coming through the centre. The other kids squealed on him after the inspector left. I made sure he was miserable for the rest of the year, and his mom was totally on my side.

Prepheckt41 karma

Any crazy parents stories?

MissDaniel121 karma

I've covered it a bit with a parent who threatened me, a parent who wouldn't leave me alone with the child...

Currently though we have one parent who emails the daycare about 50 times a day. There are cameras in the room so that parents can login and see how their kids are doing. This mom will email over and over and over and over.... He looks too hot, take off his sweater. Now he is too cold, put it back on. Why is he crying? Why is he walking funny? Why did that boy take his toy? ..... it never ends.

Prepheckt45 karma

If that isn't helicopter parenting what is?

MissDaniel113 karma

It crosses a line when that helicopter comes crashing down on me in burning hot flames.

DracoAzuleAA36 karma

So she's paying you guys so she can watch her kid through a webcam?

MissDaniel32 karma

That's pretty much it, yup. Really weird to see it actually spelled out like that.

MacGyverMacGuffin39 karma

Can you tell us the story of the very first time someone, even subtlety, implied you were a pedophile?

MissDaniel112 karma

I was working in a catholic school, pulling kids out in small groups to work on pre-reading skills. I always had to leave the door to my classroom open so I was never alone in a room with the kids. One teacher would always check in on me, not being subtle at all, literally popping in to try and catch me in an act. She once said she was just there to make sure I didn't, "have too much fun". Which she said in a deadpan and not at all funny way.

idleactivist38 karma

  • What's the cutest/sweetest thing a student has said to you?

  • What's the creepiest thing a student has said to you?

MissDaniel101 karma

Cutest: I love you Mr. Daniel. I hope a doggy doesn't bite you today. Creepiest: Will you stab me in the heart? Just for pretend.

TheNinjaSammich31 karma

If a kid came to you with questions about their sexuality what would you do? I remember being conflicted in elementary school and always wondered what would have happened if I did talk to a teacher.

MissDaniel68 karma

For my master's thesis I did a lot of research on this topic. Most gay teachers will tell students to straighten up, to pass for straight, or just avoid it altogether. I've had one student come to me with concerns about sexuality, but I was rather early in my career. I wish I could sat I did more, but I just told them that there was no rush to label yourself, to take some of the pressure off themselves, and enjoy life without a pigeon hole. Not the worst response I could have given, but for a student reaching out it sure didn't go far enough.

TheNinjaSammich22 karma

That's better than some other stories I've heard. Are you open to students if they ask you?

MissDaniel38 karma

If they ask, yes. I'm comfortable enough in my career and personal life that I don't care who knows. I just don't often share it too willingly.

ilais227 karma

Did you ever had a parent or a staff member change their opinion of you after finding out that you're gay?

MissDaniel56 karma

I've had a few staff members back off and distance themselves from me. It got very very awkward. I should have known to keep my fool mouth shut though. I was working in a centre that ran out of a Catholic school at the time.

MrIvysaur25 karma

How do you keep your energy up pretending like you're interested in the kids?

MissDaniel47 karma

Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it. Sometimes you just hit a wall and don't give a crap. I will usually pass everything along to one of my co-teachers. I usually keep something sweet in my bag, candy or a drink or something, and I'll head off for a 'bathroom break'. Take a 5 minute break to recharge, play on my phone, eat some candy, then try and survive the rest of the afternoon.

volcomking22 karma

How many hot moms have you had sexually relations with?

MissDaniel121 karma

None, since I'm gay ;)

I did know one guy who worked at a centre though and he slept with at least 4 of the moms that I knew of. He stopped when one of the kids (in kindergarten) started telling the other kids that this guy was his new daddy, and he gave mommy grown up kisses. He broke up with that mom via text. He ended up moving to China 2 months later, but those were 2 really awkward months.

Cemetary12 karma

Are you 'camp' gay or straight gay? I'm curious if you are easily identifiable as gay if you are discriminated for being such. I know guys can get a hard time being a teacher and I can imagine bigots having a field day if they also knew you were gay.

Second more fun question, as a dad can you spot which girls have older brothers from the way they play and vice versa. My 20mo girl loves crashing her brothers cars into her dolls and it is hilarious!


MissDaniel47 karma

My mannerisms are sort of in the middle. I dress a little better than you would expect for someone who has a real risk of being pooped on at work, I usually do my hair up, but I'm also kind of a burly guy who spends his time on video games and table top RPGs. I've been told that when someone first meets me they can't tell, but the longer you spend talking with me or watching me play with my hair people figure it out.

And oh god, yes. I can always tell which girls have older brothers. We have one girl right now with an 8 year old brother and she is a wrecking ball. She hurts lots of other kids by accident, and gets upset when they are so much more breakable than she is. She is easily one of my favourites. She's strong enough she can almost knock me over when she comes at me full speed (which is the only speed she has).

Gimbu5 karma

What are your table-top RPG's of choice?

MissDaniel6 karma

When I was younger I was all about White Wolf games, and Changeling and Vampire still hold special places in my heart. Pathfinder is my jam right now. Never could get into D&D after 3.5.

RearAdmiralJewbacca6 karma

Does it make you happy what you're doing?

MissDaniel6 karma

Right now, yes. I love my work. I do know that eventually I'll move on from the early learning sphere, it won't be as fun as it is now, but I figure I have at least a few more good years in me before I have to start seriously planning my exit.

hawaii_sunset6 karma

How do you think you've impacted little kids the most? What is one thing you taught them or they've learned from you (your mannerisms, character, etc) that you think will make them better people?

MissDaniel6 karma

I like to think I make them a little calmer and hopefully a little more independent. They have everything they need between their ears, and I always get them to think of solutions and work with them to solve problems. I hope they keep it up.

Jack_Hat5 karma

Maybe you can confirm this. Do the girls try to bite you? Because every single 3 year old girl in my family has either bitten me or tried to bite me while holding or picking them up. Only 3 so far, my cousins' kids. The two boys though, at age 3, have never ever tired to bite me not even once.

I'm convinced that 3 year old girls like biting people. So i guess my question is, how many have bitten you?

MissDaniel12 karma

I've never been bitten yet, but that is not for their lack of trying. I've noticed slightly more girls than boys who bite, but our worst biters have been boys. Usually it is a language thing. They can't express they are frustrated, so they bite. Not to rule out the possibilities of vampires/werewolves, though. Some biting at that age is common, usually they grow out of it.

afihavok4 karma

Can you please explain to us that you became a preschool teacher for the hot moms?

MissDaniel13 karma

Hot Dads are so much more fun to look at ;)

afihavok6 karma

I suppose I could have read your description. =)

MissDaniel12 karma

Naw, who really reads those ;)

yellowstone90984 karma

Is it true that you can tell if a child is going to be gay when their older? My mum told me this a few years ago but I've always been sceptical. Are there any kids you know that you think are/will be gay, or do you know of anyone you taught who prove this theory?

MissDaniel5 karma

Even with the group I have now, ages 2.5 to 4, I have suspicions about a couple. I've had queer friends who have said they knew at this age. I don't remember when I figured it out for myself, but I was kind of a dumb kid. There are some I've had really strong suspicions of. REALLY strong suspicions of. But only once has it ever been proven positive.

serpnt3 karma

How much do you make?

MissDaniel4 karma

Right now I'm just north of 40K a year. Not a huge amount, but for my profession it isn't all too bad. I'm building up towards a supervisor position so that should be nice.

chris0matic2 karma

If there is one, what's the CREEPIEST thing you've ever heard a kid say in your classroom? Or if it's something they did, what was it? I love hearing stories like these. (horror freak here!)

If you'd like to answer my second question, how much tolerance is required when working with kids? Have you ever been really frustrated, upset or angry when working as a teacher?

MissDaniel2 karma

I had one girl who was very... imaginative. Here are our actual exchanges. She was 4 at the time.

Girl: Do you want to play Wonderland with me? Me: How do you play Wonderland?

Girl: You be a bad german man and throw bombs at my house and I die in a fire.


Girl: Do you want to play butterflies with me? Me: How... how do you play butterflies? Girl: You catch us and stab us in the stomach until we die.

She was perfectly normal, just really went through a phase all about death and dying.

And you need a lot of calm and control. Kids are not always logical. They rarely are. Sometimes you just have to step away and calm down. Sometimes have a walk around the building. Very rarely do I get upset, but when I do I just walk away. I can always deal with the little monster later.

Skidamarinky2 karma

As a preschool teacher I wish there were more men. We had one at our school a few years ago, named Dan. He was awesome and the kids loved it. Why do you think more men aren't in this field?

MissDaniel2 karma

I see a couple reasons why men stay out: - Relatively low pay - Men working with young children are always suspected of being child molesters - It isn't seen as manly or appropriate - Many people assume you're gay. I mean, they are right in my case, but they could at least not assume as such!

TommyTigerpants-4 karma

Are you a homosexual/pedophile?

MissDaniel3 karma

I am one of the two, yes. All the time.

Yuriiiii-36 karma

What is your favourite thing to do and why is it touching little boys? /s

MissDaniel19 karma

You know, I have a buddy who is also an ECE (he teachers in kindergarten) and we like saying wildly inappropriate things like this back and forth when we think no one is listening.

Seriously though, I've been peed on by too many little boys. I much prefer touching Amiibo. They just hurt my wallet, don't pee on me, and are far less likely to get me arrested.

AdrianBlake3 karma

Which is your favourite amiibo and why is it pikachu?

MissDaniel7 karma

Pikachu inferior. Jigglypuff superior. He's my main in Smash.

JenWarr3 karma

Ugh..... Maining jigglypuff?? You troll.

MissDaniel1 karma

Spam that rest attack all day.