“We’re very lucky”. These are the words we hear from teachers in beautiful ECE settings with a programme that offers equally beautiful care to young children. Perhaps this is the humility we tend to have here in Aotearoa, or down to the warmth and generous nature of kind teachers, but 'luck’ is only the tiniest part of the picture.
Luck makes it sound as if it's happenstance, a stroke of fortune that these teachers landed in this place, all prepped and ready to go.
It is a kind thing to say, but it's not enough.
It is not acknowledging the huge role that those teachers themselves have played.
A beautiful and nurturing environment occurs when a team come together with shared inspiration, and a tireless commitment to exceptional quality and relationships. This isn't luck. It is hard work. And do you know who the really lucky ones are? The children and families who get to experience this kind of team, and this kind of setting.
We are a humble bunch, but we can also know when we are doing well. And perhaps we feel a touch of luck if we find ourselves with supportive management who lets us run with our ideas, and doesn't skimp on beautiful furnishings. That's fortunate, yes, but there's also some personal credit there too.
Finding a place we align with can be tricky but we can take ownership of a job well done when we do find it. It means we've put in the work to find our fit. It's not just luck. Too many of us in the sector stay somewhere we're not aligned with because change is so scary, and we get stuck in feeling unlucky and hope our luck will change soon.
We can be grateful and let our wonderful team know we appreciate them. We can show our joy in where we are by giving our whole hearts to it, but let's not just cry “we’re so lucky”.
How about when someone feels the warmth of our beautiful space, or their eyes light up at this little oasis we've created for children, we try one of these replies:
“We're very proud of what we do/who we are”
“Thank you, we love it here”
“I'm glad you feel how special it is. We think so too”.