While deciding to become a teacher is a noble goal, it’s not for everyone. Many experienced teachers describe their love and passion for their profession as a calling, and not just a job. If you’re considering a career in early childhood education, here are 7 things to consider first before enrolling in an ECE program:1. Teachers Tend to Work Extra Hours
While teachers get certain perks, like having most major holidays off and breaks in the summer, they also tend to put in a lot of work outside of classroom hours. This is the result of factoring in lesson plan preparation, grading homework, tests, or assignments, after school programs, etc. For many teachers, this isn’t a deal breaker, as they truly love what they do, so it doesn’t always feel like work or an obligation.
2. Creative Thinking and Problem Solving is a Must
Effectively reaching young children and helping them learn requires a certain amount of creative thinking and problem solving. An early childhood educator will need to be able to adapt lesson plans to basic concepts that young children are capable of understanding. The ability to think outside the box when it comes to incorporating learning games and other teaching techniques will help keep active children engaged and motivated throughout the day.
3. You’ll Need a Lot of Patience and Energy
For those who choose jobs in early childhood education, patience is a virtue they must possess if they want to be successful and satisfied in their profession. Working with young children isn’t easy, especially when you have an entire classroom full of them and you’re greatly outnumbered. Young children are full of energy and curiosity, so it takes patience, energy and a dose of humor in order to keep children focused and motivated to learn. If patience is something you don’t have much of, or you don’t enjoy working with children, then becoming a teacher isn’t likely to be the best career fit for you.
4. Dealing with Parents Can be Challenging
This might come as a surprise for some to learn, but dealing with parents can be just as challenging, if not more, than dealing with young students. While parents usually tend to be supportive, unfortunately, they can also make it difficult for teachers to do their job. This can result from a parent monopolizing too much of a teachers’ time, or thinking they know best and interfering when they really shouldn’t.
5. Some Costs May be Out of Pocket
There may be some instances where you have to dip into your own funds and spend some of your own money to help cover the costs of school supplies or setting up your classroom. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for supplies from parents, or work with other teachers at your school to find creative solutions to budget shortfalls.
6. You’ll Need to Know How to Use Technology
The way students are learning today has evolved from prior decades, so being able to utilize technology in the classroom is a must. If you love the idea of teaching, but your technology skills could use a little boost, check out community programs to help you learn some new skills.
7. Instant Gratification Doesn’t Exist
While becoming a teacher is extremely rewarding, it takes time to earn your students respect and to see growth in your students’ education. Appreciation and respect come with being consistent, patient and kind, so even if it doesn’t always feel like you’re earning their respect or being appreciated, just know that you are.
If you’re interested in becoming a teacher or learning more about other exciting and rewarding jobs in early childhood education, contact Athena Career Academy today to talk with our admissions team.