Men in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Daycare Worker Colin Troeger by Mike Prochaska
Colin Troeger works at a KinderCare Learning Center in Minnesota. He works in the 2-year-old room, which is my personal favorite age group to work with! Troeger shared his thoughts on working with small children.
Q. How did you get into this field?
“So, I got into the field because I wanted to a pediatrician for the longest time, I have changed that focus to Law Enforcement now."
Q. What do you see as the advantages of having male teachers?
"Helping children learn new things is very rewarding to me. One advantage I see as being a male teacher is being a positive male role model. Some kids in my classroom don’t have a father figure in their lives, so they look up to me to provide that figure to them, and they depend on me more than the other teacher in the room. Being a male in the field also helps to eliminate gender stereotypes that men aren’t supposed to be taking care of children because it’s feminine, instead they’re supposed to be doing a more masculine role."
"Another aspect to take into consideration is that men see things in a different way rather than females, and enjoy doing different activities with children. With my 2-year-old classroom I enjoy doing messy activities, such as playing with slime, whereas my coworker doesn’t enjoy it because it’s a horrific mess. I currently work at a KinderCare as an assistant teacher in the 2-year-old room, I am waiting to finish more college coursework before I become lead teacher, which I am excited for!"
Q. What's your favorite memory working with kids?
"I have many memories I am fond of over the three years I have been in the field, but one that sticks out is a mother would always struggle to get her son to come into daycare, but every day she told him that I would be there and he would get up and moving to come to school. Her son had great bond with me. It was rewarding to hear the mother say that to me! I have another rewarding moment every day when I go into work, there is nothing better than having 14 2-year-olds come running at you when you walk into the door because they are excited to see you! Overall my years in child care have been a superb and rewarding experience, I am going to miss the field after I graduate college, but I still plan on getting involved in early education when time allows for me."
Photo: Jennifer O'Donnell Photography