Getting respect as a daycare preschool teacher

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Grammy Teacher, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I was reading some of the older forums about how the teachers in daycares get so little respect compared to teachers in the schools. This is so true! We struggle with this constantly. Any comments?
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    When I worked in a daycare it was so true! I used every opportunity to point out my education & degree! When I was showing prospective parents around I would let them know that I had a degree & talk about the staff that either had a degree in something related or were working on one.

    I think that sometimes daycare providers, & I'm guilty of this myself, think of themselves as just glorified babysitters. I would wear jeans & a sweatshirt or t-shirt. Some people would argue, that because we get down on the floor with them that that's ok. I teach kindergarten & I get down on the floor with my kinders in skirts & dress pants. Most of the parents that daycare providers work with are business professionals. As much as I don't want to admit it how we dress does effect how people, it does.
    When I worked in a daycare center that we did dress up, the parents seemed to respect us more. I also say that we need to put our degrees & diplomas in a visible place for parents to see.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Right. The problem remains that there is such a wide variety in the types of daycare offered (family care, center care, unregulated care, babysitting) and the requirements and qualifications for teachers and staff. Parents don't always understand that daycare is early childhood education. Teachers can help them understand that. Too often parents don't know how to choose daycare and so settle for the first one they find that is safe. Safety is of prime importance, of course, but they need to know that they should expect more. I think the key is parent awareness. Absolutely respect yourselves as teachers and communicate that to parents. It is hard for them to recognize that quality early childhood education is not kindergarten pushed down to younger ages. If you have parent orientations each year to educate parents that is a help. If your local child care resource and referral agency, children's services council, health department, offer publications to parents about how to choose quality child care, that is good. If not, write a small pamphlet yourself. Oops, I am on a soapbox. I once had a job doing public information about quality early childhood.
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I agree with your comments...I wear dresses and nice "outfits often, but find that my clothes get "ruined" from paint, food, glue, etc. I have an apron that helps out alot! Another thing that I have noticed through the years is that I recieve TONS of respect from parents who are themselves teachers in the school system. They know what we go through in a day and they are the ones bringing in things to share and giving "gifts" of appreciation . I like the idea of doing a pamphlet or sharing information at conferences as well. I am going to do that this fall. Now for another problem! The owner of our site is never at our building. She has appointed an "acting" director . I have worked at this place for many years and am very dedicated, always going the extra mile, bringing in things , finding helpful information for parents, staying late, etc. What I am seeing , is that this director is not a very perceptive person and misses a lot of what is going on in the center. The "owner" really likes her for whatever reason so I feel like it would only cause trouble for me if I went to her and told her some of these things. How can I cope with this?
     
  6. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    It is a terrible situation as far as lack of respect goes. I also point out my degrees when possible (I am certified 7-12 and hold a Master's in English Lit). Currently, I am teaching pre-k and I am in a graduate program for ECE. In any case, a parent was late picking up her child one day last year. She ran in and said "Sorry, I was finishing up a project for my finals." So, I asked her what she was studying. Her reply -- and I kid you not -- "I am in school learning to be a REAL teacher". My jaw dropped! I was speechless.
     
  7. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    I hear you on the newsletter -- I had said last year that I would do a monthly letter but felt I had to do one weekly. I think I neded it and not the parents -- I think a handful of people read the darn thing!

    Very interesting that you should raise the point about directors. I would like to see ours more proactive -- we are still based on word of mouth as well. Or, I'll be the one 'selling' the program.
     
  8. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Ladies, as a parent, I think advertising is your key. When I was looking at putting my little one in daycare/preschool, I took notice the local centers didn't advertise. My opinion was- if they didn't feel the need to advertise to attract clients, why should I even try there? I would have loved to see what they did.The one center that did advertise, the director's kids went there, and that to me didn't feel right.
     
  9. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    I think this depends... Those that don't "need" to advertise could have a lot of satisfied clients and rely on word of mouth and renewals.
     
  10. Lisa H.

    Lisa H. Rookie

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    I have completed my first year as a head Pre-k teacher, and I agree with all of you of course. Some parents are just so self involved that they have no idea what we do in a day. I send home a monthly newsletter for my class and attach my monthly planning to the back. Some of the parents won't even take it home, (or any other papers or projects that are in their basket to go home.) For weeks. When I see that, that disrespects me personally, because that is all of my time and work to try to get them to take any notice or interest. That is very sad. People assume that because our center offers infant care as well, that it is just a daycare. I wish people would understand that there is a difference between daycare and preschool!! I am very lucky, because we have an excellent director. That center is her whole life, and she is in and out of our rooms numerous times everyday, and all of the children know her and love her. She also makes it appoint everyday, to say hello to every child and ask them how they are today, or what they did last night. That is an outstanding example to set for all. She covers our breaks one by one, and is there from open to close most days. We are not for profit so we do tons of fundraising, and accept many donations. We advertise, and she writes editorials in the local paper, to say thank you every once in a while. We are lucky to have such a great group to work with.
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

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    It's great to have a nice director who you can talk to about problems and is supportive when problems arise. I work in a wonderful center and can't complain for the most part. It is easier to go with the flow and focus on the kids and not get involved in the "politics" at work. Do you know what I mean?
     
  12. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Amanda, that's all I can figure with these centers around here! One's right down the street, but they never advertise or anything. We even have an area merchants association that I don't believe they are part of. I just wish they'd have an open house or something.
     
  13. sharkim007

    sharkim007 Guest

    Aug 17, 2004

    I agree with most comments in this thread but there is one thing that everyone has over looked. I don't think its respect that is missing, I think its Carers aren't made to feel valued or acknowledged for the outstanding job we all do. Advertising isnt necassary in Australia because "word of mouth" will either make or break a Child Care Centre. Particularly with all the franchise operations opening here.

    But irrespective of all this, each day when i finish work if I can leave knowing I did the best job I could then I know I played an important role in a childs life and that maybe something I did with them or said will provide them with values that will exhibit respect regardless of race, colour, creed or skills.

    When I go to work tomorrow and walk into the main yard and my 4 yr olds run to me for a hug, in the process telling me they love me and missed me that is all the respect I need!!

    I love my job and adore the children I care for.......Nothing else matters.
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

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    Do you really think that nothing else matters? How parents think and act affects their children at such a young age. I feel it does matter...a lot. They need to be deeply involved in their children's daily lives...and convey their respect and appreciation of teachers to their children...whether that teacher is in a public school or daycare center. That in turn, makes better teachers! So, the question remains, who should educate the parents???
     
  15. kpa1b2

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    The directors/owners need to educate the parents. The teachers need to educate the parents. Join a professional organization & get involved.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

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    No time to join "anything" ... will be doing it myself at fall conferences...as usual...some will "get it' and others will not...maybe it reallyd doesn't matter after all.
     
  17. misstracey

    misstracey Rookie

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    i would love it if more parents took an interest in what i am teaching the kids all day; if more parents took the time to come talk to me when they pick up their kids; if they took the time to really look around the room and see what is hanging up; i feel that a lot of the disrespect comes from the parents; and although it is frustrating to know that most of them just think of us as "day care workers" and not teachers, for me, it ultimately comes down to the kids; i have to say that i totally agree with what sharkim said; i know that i'm teaching my kids, i know that i'm working my butt off for them, i know that they're learning; when they come up to me, all excited because they found transportation in a book, or when they tell me about all the senses they are using to play with playdough, that is pretty much all i need to see to show me that i am a good teacher; and when i walk into that room in the morning and those kids run to me to give me hugs, that makes everything worth it; when those kids tell me that they missed me, that they love me, i couldn't care less about what the parents think
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yes, but salaries should reflect the value of a job and in this case they don't.
     
  19. misstracey

    misstracey Rookie

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    i wasn't even thinking of salaries; and i have to say, the fact that we get paid so little does bother me; we do so much, and in the end, we aren't given what we deserve
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    What A Great Profession

    Upsadaisy brought up a great point about the salaries ... HOWEVER! I still make as much as many professional people in the community(or almost as much) and they bring their children in, practically throwing them in the door at times it seems!!! They are all dressed up in heels with their hair and nails all done and they are so stressed about their jobs...then they say to "us", "How in the world do you do this all day? I could NEVER do this!" ...as I take their little one by the hand and we go off to "play." I wouldn't trade this profession for any of theirs. Do you know anywhere else where you could laugh all day long, or sing, hug, dance, eat, draw, paint, roll on the rug, etc, and get paid for it??????? O.K. we won't think about the tantrums,fighting over toys, and cleaning up milk spills...
     
  21. sharkim007

    sharkim007 Guest

    Aug 18, 2004

    Grammy Teacher, maybe I wasnt clear when i stated nothing else matters. Of course....everything matters. I am extremely fortunate that the parents of the children in care at our Centre are really great! Yes I agree with you that parents have a profound influence on their children.

    However, can I alter the way a parent interacts with their child or for that matter change their affect on the child? Can I persuade them to understand the importance that their child needs them every second of the day to guide, teach, support, love and nuture them?

    I can't its totally out of my hands. I only wish I could erase the damage some parents have done to their children. I can only diplomatically support and discreetly guide my parents and only if they are recipricol to this fact.

    The only time I have control is when the child is in my care. Now if I can make a little positive difference in the life of that child so that in the years to come when they are parents themselves maybe they will have the appropriate values that will demonstrate respect, compassion, empathy etc and then in turn they can instill this into their own children maybe it will all turn around. All us Teachers and Carers will be just the "ants pants" then I can say .....it worked.....!!

    In the meantime with the support of my loving husband, my three teenage children, an outstanding Director and caring team mates not to mention 10 delightful and at times obnioux 4 yr olds that from 9-5 each day laugh, cry, play, hug, with me(urinate - sometimes on me not to mention the odd chunda) lets not forget everyone who is in this forum, I feel the most respected, valued child care giver in the world.....

    And with that honestly nothing else matters. :)
     
  22. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I work with the families to educate them on their parenting skills. This may involve after work get-togethers with other families and teachers who can give them professional advice. It can be as simple as finding information for them. We do many of these things in connection with the "school system. Many parents need to be shown how to nurture and love.
     
  23. sharkim007

    sharkim007 Guest

    Aug 18, 2004

    I'm glad to see that you have the time and energy to make a difference by helping our parents. Unfortunately at my Centre I would be breeching our licensing regulations and Centre policies. We are also a seperate entity to main stream schooling

    In Australia parenting classes are conducted through our Community Services State Government Dept. We offer /suggest where a parent can get assistance /guidance but unfortunaelty our qualifications and regulations wont permit us to have get togethers with parents due to the possible misgiving of information that could be turn against us and used in litigations. Its a shame but thats our state law.

    Keep up the great job you will make a difference Grammy :)
     
  24. SDWEILER

    SDWEILER Rookie

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    Respect

    I've owned/operated an Early Learning Center for 16 years. I opened with a M.ED AND 6 YEARS UNDER MY BELT! I'ved noticed as the years go on there has been a decrease in respect from parents,children and even staff. :mad: I feel, the need to receive funding so that appropriately, educated individuals can be hired. I have had some dedicated staff who have been with me between 9 and 15 years.

    Yes, I'm the owner and I just spent 5 hours on a Friday night looking for new ideas. I ALSO, cleaned the toilets at the center yesterday, came home to change and go to an University to teach ECE, SPECIAL EDUCATION while my husband waits for me to return home at 11 pm from 7 am . This is to meet our bills.

    I don't know about anyone else,but I'm tired and am ready to walk away from what was once my pride and joy. :tired: :(
     
  25. Lisa H.

    Lisa H. Rookie

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    SDWEILER:
    That is very sad that it has come to that, but this is a profession that if your heart is not in it, you are not doing forthe children and families what you should. If your heart is not in it, it is very difficult to make it through the day, and as the owner you are the one setting the bar on how to handle any situation. I work in a center that has been open about 1.5 years, and this is my bosses pride and joy, and whole life. I know that if my boss was not the amazing director that she is, we would not be able to make it through some of the days. As the director/owner, she is our role model. We respect and value her and what she has built for us to let us take on our roles as teachers. It is all a group and if one person's mindset is negative, or ready to move on, it brings all of the others down too. I hope that if you are ready to be done, that you are proud of what you have done and the families and lives that you have touched, because you should leave with no regrets!! But you should know that when you are done, you are done. I wish you luck with your decisions and remember that it is possitive, because you know all of the good you did, and you are educated enough to know when to end a wonderful era!! :)
     
  26. SDWEILER

    SDWEILER Rookie

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    Lisa,

    I still go in smiling and still have new teachers work under me as a cooperating teacher. I especially work well with learning and behaviorial problem children. I hug, use kind words and have enough written thank yous to wall paper my home. :)
    I should add that I'm physically disabled. I opened almost 16 years ago running everything. I'm now in a wheelchair, in chronic pain 24/7, had 4 reoccurrances of cancer and became a widow 2 months after being a bride. I'd rather leave to teach future teachers for our children.

    I'll never leave teaching."I just have to make a difference in another way." :love:
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Remarkable...you must be just that...and have so much to give ... even when you have your problems...You sound like you have a lot to offer and will continue to do just that, only in a different way. When I finally retire, I will also continue to "teach"... be it a grandchild or a neighbor...it's just in you and you can never stop teaching...strange thing, isn't it? I think it has to come straight from the heart.
     
  28. SDWEILER

    SDWEILER Rookie

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    Born to Teach


    Yes, Teaching is something your born to do. Even on days, when I just want to sit at the cemetery and cry, I go in holding back tears and make sure everyone of my 44 children get a smile or hug. So, I may miss the children, I know, like you, I'll still be touching the lives of children.
    :love: :love:
     
  29. Lisa H.

    Lisa H. Rookie

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    I commend you on it all...You are the kind of person that is an inspiration to others!! All of those children and families are lucky to know you!!
    Teachers are amazing, they have more heart than anyone could imagine. Sometimes you just want to switch places with people for a day, so maybe they will appreciate how much love and inspiration you have to give.
     
  30. rhodsco

    rhodsco New Member

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    I educate my clients every opportunity I get. One girl in a wheelchair outgrew it and the single parent was told by the insurance company that they would pay $4000 and he would have to pick up the other $8000. I've helped him find the resources he needs to get her on services and her wheelchair is now being made. She has a loaner until it's complete and I, in turn, received services as well in the area of ramps for my home and van. Sometimes we need to go the extra mile to make parents see that we really care about their children and know how to get in touch with the resources that are available. I also take payment by credit card or electronic check which gives them a receipt to sign and keep. This service itself makes the "business transaction" more serious and a cut above a "babysitter." I don't have to advertise to fill my spots. My new clients usually come from referrals from other clients, past clients, and college students who have come to do observations in my family childcare home. I am 1 of 13 nationally accredited homes in Colorado and just completed my associates degree and ECE degree. I think the greatest respect is shown when children stay in your care for 6-7 years and their parents are nurses, physical therapist, lawyers, and office managers. They usually all remember me well at Christmas time and when they part ways.
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nice to see peoplle still commenting on this thread. My thoughtful parents have come from all walks of life, but I think the best have been from parents who are also teachers. They REALLY know what it's all about...nice cards and gifts and very friendly.
     
  32. rhodsco

    rhodsco New Member

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    I have one parent who began as a para last year and began taking classes to get teacher certified this year. She has one 2 yr old and a 4 yr old in preschool. Last year she only got paid minimum wage and I gave her a break on costs because she picked up her children before the school-agers got out. She has been so grateful. She's always giving me links to websites and prints things out for me as well. The school district is reimbursing her for the classes she takes and eventually she'll be up to a teacher's salary. She has 4 children all together and is fortunate enough to be in class with one of her children.
     
  33. mbt

    mbt Rookie

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    It all comes down to this.....Do we do it for the money?...no Do we do it for the parents?...no We do it for the children...that we might make a difference in there lives!!! If we are looking for any thing else we should probably find another job!!
     
  34. Grammy Teacher

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    I would like to express my opinion. I love children and give them my "all", but I do it for the money.
     
  35. lilleo13

    lilleo13 Rookie

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    Grammy how in the world do you do "it" for the money? We get so very underpaid, it is crazy. I am subbing in preschools this year and even at my rates, it is a very small amount of money. I do it for the children or I would go nuts with stress. Christy
     
  36. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I love kids with my whole heart, but I don't do this thinking that I am going to make a big impact in the life of a 4 or 5 year old. The pay is o.k.
     
  37. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Grammy,

    You WILL make a big impact on the life of a child! Gotta love the kids.
     
  38. Grammy Teacher

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    As I mentioned several times before, I love the kids, give them my all, and am very good at what I do. I do not feel that what I do will impact the life of a 4 or 5 year old child. That is my opinion. Your feelings are different. That is o.k. I don't want to debate so am unsubscribing from this thread.
     
  39. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Anyone can get a degree

    I have been in the childcare profession for about 6 years now. Let me tell you, just because someone has a bachelors or masters degree, doesn't make them a good teacher or director. I have worked for many people who have very high levels of education who should just not be in the field of education. I finally got my chance 2 years ago, when my past director got demoted, and I got promoted into the position. I only have an associates and I am still working on my bachelors. Not that I don't make mistakes like everyone else, but I have managed to turn our failing childcare center to a very sought after and well known center with waiting lists and a great curriculum. I think that there are too many people who are over looked in this profession (and probably many others) simply because they don't have the highest education achievements. I believe that it takes more than a piece of paper to make someone a great teacher or director. It's the people who have natural professionalism for the field and the heart that make them great educators. Those are the people who DO make a positive impact on children no matter how young they are. If anyone thinks that they don't have an impact on children at a young age, you should exit the field right away because you will only enforce negativity in children.
     
  40. debbie

    debbie Rookie

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    I was just doing the same (reading the no respect--maybe rodney dangerfield should be an icon). Yes; it's terribly true. i got my degree in ECE and during my first couple of years had zero thought of working in childcare. My thoughts went towards specializing in something (literacy, behavioural wasn't sure)and I am ashamed to admit at this point that I held an opinion of childcare that while not horrible was definately somewhat prejudiced. I had a wonderful politics professor whose soul aim was to stand up for the ECE teaching profession with regards to the respect it deserves. Her thoughts were lodged but not acted upon until I made the choice not to go into the board of ed, or to any of my previous career choices but to childcare. Have not ever regretted it except for the salary levels and benefits etc. are so remiss!! Decided to try to be part of the solution. Find it interesting to hear about other people continually mentioning their degrees; I do the same. Want people to know that people who work in childcare are highly qualified educated people who have chosen this option as a career. The bottom line is that ECE's should be receiving the same treatment as board of ed teachers. I guess political involvement is the answer. It is something I have been pretty remiss in as an ece teacher and I would like to get involved with something that addresses these issues. Some people in my life still ask me to this day why didn't I just go another year and get my B.Ed. I remain dedicated to this cause. I find that addressing people (such as parents) as a professional and discussing their children in terms of behaviour strategies etc. goes a long way with gaining short term respect. Long term respect for ECE teachers is another story
     
  41. debbie

    debbie Rookie

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    Just read grammy's comment about not making a difference in the life of a 4 or 5 years child's life. Grammy--are you being serious!? Of course you are. I think that is why most of us are here!!
     

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