If you are considering pursuing a career in an early childhood related field, then you will definitely want to begin by obtaining your bachelors degree. After you have completed the necessary requirements to obtain your high school diploma, or the equivalent, you can begin choosing the college or university that you want to attend. Once you have made your selection for a post-secondary learning institution, you will likely be required to submit a copy of your transcript, a copy of your ACT scores, and a few letters of recommendation that will vouch for your character.
Once the college of your choice has approved you for admittance into their education program you can begin learning about the techniques and strategies that are necessary to instruct small children. A bachelors degree in early childhood education will make it possible for you to seek employment with a Head Start program, an elementary school, a day care center, or even a recreational center. These employment venues will allow you to become a day care center specialist, a head start teacher, an educational assistant, a kindergarten teacher, or a pre-school teacher. .
As you begin working towards obtaining your degree in early childhood education you will be learning about pedagogical techniques and theories, topics related to today's families, and health. Of course, you will also have to complete numerous general education courses in math, sciences, history, and humanities. Some of the concentration courses you will likely need to complete are: social and emotional growth, child development, language development, toddler and infant learning, children, family, and our society, classroom management, teaching and learning, early childhood assessment, and cultural foundations.
The course work in this degree program is designed to teach individuals how to work with children from birth through grade three. Not only will you be trained in how to teach small children, but to also serve as a positive mentor to them and their families. Generally speaking, you will be learning about child psychology, curriculum development, nutrition, methods of effective teaching, general education, and child development.
Depending upon the college or university you choose to attend, you will likely be required to complete course work that is within a classroom setting, as well as conducted in a laboratory type setting. This allows students the chance to learn the information and then to apply it in a real world situation. It is important to realize that teaching and interacting with children at such a small age will often put you in the position to identify special needs that a child may have. It will also be up to you to use what you know to educationally instruct this child in the most effective manner. Just prior to completion of this program, you will be required to complete an internship and an extensive project. The project will most likely be on a topic that is directly pertinent to your area of study; the internship will allow you the opportunity to work in a setting that will be much like your employment area after graduation.
Develop Schedules – As a teacher you’ll design specific schedules in order to get children to follow a routine. At a young age it is important for children to get use to following a schedule as well as doing multiple tasks at once.
Lesson Plans – Teachers all create lesson plans in order to stay organized. Lessons plans allow the teachers to specifically target areas of teaching that they want the students to learn. Progress reports are then created that show specific areas that need improvement by the child. The teacher can then design curriculum or projects to help improve that problem area.
Safety – The top responsibility of any elementary teacher is the safety of the children. They are fully responsible for keeping the children safe while in school.
Fun – Teaching should be fun and the children should have fun learning new things. The goal is to design a teaching method that allows the children to have fun while learning.
Role Model – Personally speaking some of my biggest role models I’ve had were teachers. As a teacher you’ll need to realize that you are more than just a teacher to the children you are responsible for. Some children might not have parents or anyone to look up to so the teacher they see on a daily basis is the one he or she might view as their role model.
Motivator – As a elementary teacher you’ll need to encourage your class to try new things. Motivating the kids to try things perhaps they don’t feel comfortable with is a great way to improve their moral and self-esteem.
Child Development – Your goal should be to improve the motor and social skills of the student. Also design physical activities to help them explore and find new areas of interest. During school the child will learn how to deal with other students socially including those of the opposite sex and race.
Preparation – In a preschool class the goal is to give the student the right foundation so they can start kindergarten. Early preparation is vital in order to set a foundation for the child to build on.
One of the top questions about being a teacher is what are some of the top traits that teachers possess. It takes a special type of person to teach young people. Teachers have a love for children and a passion to make sure they go down the right path and learn the basics as they head into the next grade level.
Patience – Sometimes as an early childhood teacher the kids can test the patience of any teacher. Not only does the teacher have to deal with so many different things that can affect their teaching but you also have to deal with parents and school administrators. Patience is something that you can be taught and you’ll need to rely on patience as you teach.
Humor – Especially early on making school fun is the best way to get children to learn. Your goal is to engage the children in a way where they are learning and having fun at the same time.
Communication Skills – Good communication skills without a doubt is something you’ll need to have throughout your entire teaching career. Being able to communicate with the ones you teach including their parents is a trait you must have.
Enthusiastic – Teachers have to be enthusiastic and need to show that enthusiasm every day at work. Students learn better when the teacher is exciting to teach and make their lessons fun.
Respect – Having mutual respect between the teacher and student is a trait that every teacher has. Teaching respect to children is a quality that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Understanding – When dealing with children, especially those between pre-school and 2nd grade it is extremely important to understand of every type of situation you come across. Every child is different and they are trying to learn more about themselves.
Passion – Having a passion for what you do is the key trait that every teacher has. It is sometimes difficult to go into work each day and have the same passion as the first day of teaching. It is up to you to be positive and do everything you can to show that positivity every day.