I started doing placement last week for my cert III early childhood education and care course, I doing the after school care, need 150hrs total. On my first day I was anxious because I have a anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, I went in and not even 5 min after I walked in the door the first 'issue' my superviser bought up was the scars on my arm that are from past self injury saying she isn't offended by them and dont need to cover them but warned me that its likely parents and children will ask questions about them. I had said it was fine coz I wouldnt get upset if kids started asking questions, my thought about the parents is they should know better if they do start asking things. I don't wear long sleeves coz I hate them and cannot tolerate them especially when I am anxious coz it makes me feel hot. Anyway I writing about this because I felt so small when she started talking about the scars because it's like she didn't see me only the scars and just was so un tactful the way she spoke about it, like when she said she wasn't offended by them, I mean cmon they are scars on my body so that comment implies my body offends people..... I understand why it was bought up, partially expected it to be but to do so the moment I walk in the door just doesn't feel right, makes me feel degraded and judged somewhat.......am I right in feeling this way or am I just over reacting?
I don't feel as if you're over reacting. I've got scars myself, but they are up quite high on my leg, so up until recently I haven't had issues very much with people questioning why they are there and what they are from. But I wear tradie shorts to work (and we all know how short they are) and I've had a few stares and a few questions from people. I just act all casual
"what scars... oh right those ones, just scars, nothing to worry about"
I agree it certainly should not be on the first thing someone asks you about and I can see why it would make you feel this way
First up, I think it's awesome you are studying early childhood education and care! I reckon it would be amazing being able to help little kids in the most important learning and growing stage of their lives! Good on you.
I can understand why you felt small when your supervisor started talking about your scars just moments after you'd arrived for your big day, at a time when you want to be getting your bearings and getting comfortable and in the zone to start your placement! You're right, she probably could have picked a better time and way of expressing herself!
But I am really glad that she didn't say "Oh you should cover those up". You are you, your body is you, and that goes for your scars too. There's nothing about you that you should feel ashamed of, or feel like you should cover up. I'm glad you know that.
It's really great that you'd already thought about how you'd handle a situation if a kid or parent asked you about your scars - it shows some real maturity and thoughtfulness, and a willingness to look after yourself and educate other people where it's required. That kind of foresight and maturity will stand you in really good stead as you continue in your placement and in life generally.
I hope the rest of your first day went well. Keep us posted how you're going?
Hi @vampireprincess , good on you for pursuing your passion! Working with children is very impactful and important, so I am really glad to hear that someone as genuine and caring as you is doing so.
It might help if you tried focusing on the positives when people talk about your scars? For example, your supervisor is supportive of you and does not find your scars offensive! I think that sounds like a good outcome
I understand how those comments would have made you feel small and inadequate - what is your normal thought process when people talk about your scars?
Perhaps she was actually trying to be supportive but accidently used the wrong words? By talking about it early, she might have thought she was clearing the air. She also might have thought that there is a stigma that scars can offend? Sometimes people have good intentions but struggle finding the right words to express it.
In my opinion, without those scars you might not be who you are today. Going through really hard times can really help you become more understanding and empathic for others. For me, those scars would be a symbol of growth, but also a reminder of how difficult life can be at times and why it is so important to listen and be supportive of others.
Hey @vampireprincess everyone has given you great advice so far, i definitely agree with @tsnyder your scars make you who you are, you are a survivor and they definitely show growth. Have you read Hannah's story? She talks about learning that "this (scars) is a part of me and it is something I don't want to forget. Having them there gives me strength and reminds me how far I have come."
Good luck with the rest of your Cert III!
sometimes it rains, sometimes it shines, this is how flowers grow
I read your post and really wanted to respond. Reading your post I can feel every little bit of uncomfy feelings in that situation. I can understand her asking, but there is a time a place.
I'm also studying ECEC and am doing my second year DIPLOMA this year.
Everyone has already posted some good advice and responses. I'm kinda a little lost with where I wanted to take this (as always lol)
NO, I DO NOT think you're over reacting. You're feelings aren't right or wrong, they just are. Society shouldn't be able to dictate how we should feel about things.
If you're having trouble working with the supervisor because of this definitely talk to your director or teacher (I'm assuming your placement is part of a theory component done through a training institute?)
I don't know if this helps, but just wanted to reply. Here to talk if you need. (ECEC related or not )
Remember you're amazing just as you are
i agree with @Bee you have every right to feel offended by hher actions.
I get that on one level it could look like she's protecting you but imagine if it was something else, like someone being ovverweight or having a huge mole on their face. Imagine if she had approached that staff member and said "I don't have a problem with you having a mole on your face but if you're not going to cover it up then you need to expect parents and chilldren to comment." Err what!!!
Truth is, kids do comment because they don't know better but we teach them to be more mindful and respecting of other people and to understand that their curiosity isn't more important than the other person's right to privacy. Which is really all this is. Curiosity. And if she is anticipating parents asking you or her about them, then surely those parents need a real talking to about boundaries and how to have them and respect them.
It's easy sometimes to minimise our own feelings when someone is telling us that their bad behaviour is really for our own good. But it's not ok for her to raise this with you. Your body is your own to do with what you want. It's no one's business what's going on with it or what you do with it.
Hope you're feeling better about the whole experience, knowing that you handled a carppy situation really well. Good on you!!
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