Transitioning into teaching in TN

Hello, I am a 25 year old male living in Chattanooga, TN.

I found your website searching for help and encouragement for men who are interested in entering the area of Childcare and Early Childhood education. I have been interested in working with children for a long time, I got my bachelor's in Photography and worked my first year out of school at a Kmart doing baby portraits. That is where I think I met my destiny because I fell in love with kids and wanted to work more with them.

It's been hard for me to transition though because I have no idea how to enter in to a job working with children. I have applied at daycares before but the positions were always filled before I had a chance to prove myself as a competent caregiver. I love babies and some find it odd that I don't mind feeding bottles and changing diapers, I am a nurturer by nature I have figured (I think all men are) but I have been in dead end jobs over and over again where my energy is drained every week and I just make money to pay the bills.

I have been babysitting here and there to get my name out in the city, I have applied for a nanny position which would be full time. Also have a daycare that I have an interview with upcoming, I am trying to stay encouraged though I want to be looked at as equal and not a freak because I work with babies and toddlers.

Is there anything you can give me pointers at where I am, I saw a guy about my age at the daycare that I applied to and I am hoping to maybe get hired there so I can have someone else who is a male and into teaching/childcare. The pay may be low but I agree with other men who have had oppurtunities to help out when there was an opening.

Months ago I got to volunteer and help out at a prospective day care center and I can remember how I just felt so great helping this little boy use the potty and affirming him and encouraging him as he used it. There is so much fulfillment working with kids, but I just don't know how to get my foot in the door anywhere? Any suggestions, stories, things I should look up, read from other men who are into childcare?

Thanks for being true to Men,

Jason Anderson

p.s. we can change diapers! it's not weird! lol