Many people strive to become teachers, but it often takes specific characteristics and personalities to work with early years groups. Young children require specialized learning through the development years, and expertise in cognitive, behavioral, physical, and social aspects is a must. However, to be successful in the classroom, there is a host of must-haves any early years educator should have.
Check them out below:
1. Passion for educating
Careers in education are often described as a vocation rather than simply a job. This is because they require a passion and drive slightly different from the norm. Educating people can be challenging, but overall it provides a fulfilling and rewarding role.
2. Relevant qualifications
While possessing the best qualities for teaching is important, you also need appropriate qualifications. Most teaching roles require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and often a master’s if you want to specialize in early years. For educators with experience in this area, other certificates such as an Early Childhood Leadership Advanced Certificate Program can enhance your career.
Early years teaching requires a creative mind. In this crucial period, children are not only learning subject matter but also learning the best way to consume information. Therefore, adapting lessons and accommodating different styles of teaching is vital during this phase. Using initiative and thinking outside the box can also work wonders when trying other techniques for learning. Overall, you need to keep them focused and engaged throughout the day, which can be challenging.
4. Communication skills
Alongside creativity sits communication. Young children soak up everything around them during this stage, but they are also new to education. Therefore, communicating at their level is essential. In addition, breaking down topics into understandable snippets is crucial. Not only do you need to be able to communicate with children, but you also need to provide feedback to parents. Demonstrating the progression in the classroom helps adults understand their abilities. Plus, they can also help with struggles.
5. Identifying and understanding diversity
Every child comes from a different background and environment, and this can impact how they learn. In these initial stages, it’s essential to recognize these differences and adapt teaching styles to improve engagement. This element also enables you to work with parents to better understand how they learn outside the classroom.
In early years teaching, there are more chances that the school day doesn’t go exactly to plan. The slightest thing can cause learning to go off course and potentially disrupt a whole day’s education. As an early years educator, it’s important to recognize these issues and make plans for disruption. Flexibility within the lesson plan and your outlook will help reduce stress and pave a clearer pathway when you face a curveball.
All teachers require patience, but in early years this is vital. Children are curious and full of energy, so being patient will help you calm the class. But, of course, alongside patience, you’ll also need a good sense of humor to shake off those challenging days.
Image Credits: Ben White