14 Chapter 1
Expectations for Toddlers
To work well with toddlers, you need to understand who they are. The way
you interact with toddlers, how you set up their environment, and how you
plan their routine and activities should all be based on appropriate expec-
tations. Are you expecting too little of toddlers, or perhaps too much? As
I stated earlier, toddlers aren’t infants, but they’re not preschoolers, either.
Good-quality education and care are based on an understanding of their
development and an appreciation of the natural behavior of toddlers.
The job of toddlers, and all children, is the job of development. Take a
look at the toddler’s job description below and see if you have further expec-
tations to add.
dler’s The Tod
iption r c s e D
o J b
As a young child, I am trying to make
sense of the world around me. I learn by exploring,
experimenting, and testing the limits of my environment and the
consequences of my actions. I want to be responsible, independent, and
capable, but it will take lots of experimentation, trial and error, and prac-
tice to get me there. Here’s what I will do to ensure my success in school
and life (and drive you crazy):
I will use my curiosity to explore and learn about the world
I will be a unique individual in interests, in temperament, in
moods, in how I learn, and in the care I need.
I will develop at my own pace and in a way that integrates my
interests and enthusiasm.
I will let others know my feelings, needs, and wants by express-
ing myself in the most appropriate way that I can at the time
through words, expressions, and actions.