While a degree, diploma or a certificate in Early Childhood Education is important to get you a job as an early childhood teacher, here are five important skills that will help you succeed in the field. A teacher, especially a preschool teacher, serves many roles and these roles require some essential skills to succeed. Read on to learn more about these skills that an
early childhood teacher must have- to be successful in the classroom and throughout the career!
1. Patience: Pre-schoolers are full of curiosity and high energy, which can be
challenging at times. It is therefore crucial for the teacher to maintain her calm and help children focus on the tasks. Each child in the class is different and works at his/her own pace. There might be times that the teacher needs to deal with the same question over and over again, which needs a lot of patience too!
2. Adaptability: Teachers must adapt to different student’s learning styles (some children learn best through music and stories while some others can comprehend better through visuals) and incorporate them while teaching concepts. Regardless of how well the teacher has planned the day or how organized a teacher is, she needs to be flexible and adaptable to the glitches that come her way throughout the day.
Even the best of plans can go off rail, but adapting to these changes can lessen your stress levels and make the children’s day fun.
3. Creativity: Planning lessons that are fun yet meaningful, require creativity. Teaching children complex concepts in a way that is not too different from their world requires a lot of ‘out of the box’ planning. It also means that the teacher needs to research different strategies and creatively use them with her children. In case of failure, teachers also need to be ready with creative solutions (or plan B) for the same.
4. Communication: A teacher should be able to effectively communicate with all the stake-holders: children, parents, colleagues and the school management. As an early childhood educator, you must be able to communicate with the children at their level, breaking complex content to simple pieces. A teacher is required to communicate the child’s progress and opportunity areas with the parents and empower them with
strategies they can use at home. On a daily basis, the teacher must communicate the children’s progress and other effective classroom strategies with her colleagues and the school leadership team. The more effectively the teacher can communicate, both orally and in writing, the more rewarding her job will be.
5. Open-minded: As important as it is to be curious, being open to other’s ideas and suggestions is an important success factor for a teacher. Being receptive to children’s ideas in class (even if it is opposite to yours), being open to your colleagues and management’s suggestions and incorporating them in your role as a teacher is important. Respecting the difference of opinions and still working as a team has its own rewards. It is said that as a teacher, the classroom is your stage and you are observed by your young audience continuously! All the qualities and skills you model as an early educator, get imprinted in their young minds forever.