Teaching is a high calling, one that not everyone is equipped to handle successfully. Teaching today goes far beyond the typical Reading, Math and Science subjects. Today’s teachers also teach social behaviors and offer family support, all while managing classrooms who experience a wide range of behavioral, social, and developmental needs.
Seven hours a day; five days a week; nine months out of a year: being responsible for the comprehensive education of children through their most formative years is definitely not for the faint of heart. But for those who do have a calling to children and education, there are a few characteristics that separate the good teachers from the great ones.
Good vs. Great: What Qualities Make an Early Childhood Education Teacher the “Best of the Best”
There are many lists available that detail the top qualities of teachers. Some lists may break down 10 or more traits; others may have seven or eight. Often, the traits have many similarities in common, even though they have different names. So, we’ve compiled a list of five basic qualities that make teachers great and effective.
1. Great ECE Teachers Love Children.
You might think this should be automatically implied, but how many times have you heard a parent say, ““I just don’t think my child’s teacher likes kids,” or “Sometimes I wonder why my child’s teacher even went into education. He/She always seems so angry.”? Great teachers love working with children. These teachers are not easily annoyed by never-ending stories, untied shoelaces and constant spelling errors. Their patience and love for helping children grow and excel is evident from the moment you walk into the classroom.
2. Great ECE Teachers Have A Passion And Love For Learning.
Great teachers know that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Not only do they have a strong grasp of the subject matters they teach, but they also look for new and exciting ways to teach those subjects to their students. Great teachers also understand that knowledge and education doesn’t just happen within the classroom. These top-tier teachers also seek to learn about their students, their home lives and their interests outside of school. They understand that these personal connections with their students outside of school can have a tremendous influence on their academic success.
3. Great ECE Teachers Are Good Communicators.
They have an engaging teaching style that makes students love learning as much as they do. These teachers can clearly articulate their lessons so that their students can grasp the information. They understand that communication is a two-way street and listen to students needs and questions as much as they teach from the front of the classroom.
Great ECE teaches also understand that clear and effective communication with parents and guardians is equally important to a child’s education. They try their best to keep open lines of communication with parents and guardians throughout the school year, helping to create an atmosphere of trust and respect between the school and the home.
4. Great Early Childhood Education Teachers Have A Pleasing Personality.
This might seem subjective, but there are certain personality traits that are warm and inviting to students, making them feel self and wanted every time they enter the classroom. These teachers are excited and welcoming toward their students. They remain calm during challenging circumstances and demonstrate self-control when others might be tempted to yell or become impatient.
They are adaptable and flexible and will look for alternative solutions to challenges when initial efforts don’t work out. Great ECE teachers are the type of teachers that others model their efforts after.
5. Great Early Childhood Education Teachers Have Mastered Classroom Management.
Years ago, this was known as “classroom discipline.” However, with changes in our educational system, culture, family structure and medical health needs, great educators find creative and effective ways of managing their classrooms in positive and uplifting ways.
Great teachers maintain order in their classrooms to create environments conducive for learning, but also encourage children to desire to make considerate choices on their own, and to learn from their mistakes when they make them, every day. They understand that comprehensive education involves more than books and smartboards. From bell to bell, educators know that order is crucial, but mistakes are also opportunities to learn and grow.
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Great Early Childhood Educator?
If you think you’ve got the passion and the patience to help guide young children in their most formative, developmental years, then the experienced teaching staff at Athena Career Academy can give you the academic training and tools you’ll need to be successful in your career. Our comprehensive Associate Degree program will teach you the appropriate practice methods and skills needed to be successful teaching children ages birth through age eight. Contact us today for more information about our ECE courses, enrollment, and how to apply.