Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lettin' Em Have it at the Daycare

Went to pick up Boy and Girl at their day care. Boy was delighted to see me, but was really involved in the book that was being read. So I went to get girl, and came back. I sat and listened to the (new) teacher read a book about germs, and at a point she stopped and asked her audience of 4 girls and one boy, "Have you ever been to the doctor? Did he give you shots? Did he give you medicine?"

A little girl said, "My doctor is a girl"
Teacher said, "No, that was probably the nurse. If its a girl, its the nurse."
Perhaps the teacher realized suddenly her error, or perhaps she heard my sharp inhale. Then she said, "I guess some doctors are girls".
The story ended and we started to walk out. I probably still had a stunned look on my face, because one of the staff asked if I was ok.
"Well, no, I just heard something I really don't like." and I relayed the story.

In the middle of my story, out walked the teacher on her way home. I was caught mid-sentence and it was clear what was going on. I could either hush, or give her my thoughts to her face.
I chose the latter. With a smile, and a kind touch on her shoulder I said, "I was just relating to her the story about the doctor." At this point she jumped in and vigorously defended herself and her version of the story had a lot of emphasis on her correction. Then Boy walked out of the office into the parking lot which required a quick run and grab from me. Story over.

But actually I'm still steamin' about it, and am very anxious to give her more of my opinion, and introduce myself as doctor Prof. And to ed-u-mi-cate her. I knew that when I changed day cares, I gave up a little quality educationally, but I didn't think it was significant. Now I realize what a huge difference it makes to have college-educated caregivers as opposed to uneducated ones, even if the curricula were exactly alike. The huge difference doesn't come form a single tangible thing, but tons and tons of small ones.


  1. I'd be all up in that daycare worker's face telling her about my PhD and female pediatrician and her ignorance. But that's just me. I'm a little confrontational sometimes.

  2. don't beat yourself up too much. both my kids have seen women scientists EVERY DAY OF THEIR SMALL LIVES in the office NEXT to their fathers and still fMhson said one day "girls can't be scientists." I went through the roof and listed all the women we know who work in science. I still don't know where he got that crazy idea from, but probably some kid at school. Or Phineas and Ferb

  3. Good luck educating her, I hope she actually hears you and doesn't just put you in the "another over-bearing parent" camp.

  4. That's so sad, that poor woman, not knowing that women have opportunities like getting MDs. Today women are getting the majority of law degrees are are rapidly approaching equality in MD degrees. The majority of new pediatricians are women as are the majority of new OB/GYN. (Women still are underrepresented in high-paying specialties such as surgery.)

    It's not necessarily the college degree that's important-- DC's Montessori has a lot of women who haven't gotten theirs *yet*, but the emphasis is on *yet*. They had unexpected kids, or planned ones before going back to school, or they're working while their husbands are training, or going to school part-time. So they are continually learning and growing. It's a different mindset, even if they never actually finish a degree.