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Experienced ECEs offer Advice to New Preschool Teachers

Posted On May 6, 2021

New preschool teachers bring many things into an early childhood education (ECE) classroom, including fresh ideas, different perspectives, and boundless energy, but there is some advice that only experienced educators who have lived through it all before can share.

Be Prepared for Anything

If you’re not a fan of surprises, then you should probably rethink becoming a preschool teacher. Working with children is exciting, but the job also comes with many unexpected surprises, including occasional injuries, stomach bugs, and difficult encounters with parents. 

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If you are serious about becoming a preschool teacher, then you must be prepared to deal with challenging situations and unexpected emergencies that will throw a curveball into your plans. You need to be able to take things in stride as much as possible.  

Stick to a Routine 

Consistency is important, but for children, it’s crucial. If your students know their daily routine, they begin to have an inherent sense of responsibility to follow it. Using pictures to represent activities can be a very helpful tool for children to anticipate the routine and feel more at ease. 

Prepare More Lesson Plans Than You Think You’ll Need 

When you’re just getting started, it may be tempting to prepare a few lessons and attempt to make the rest up as you go along, but that’s not a good idea. Preschool teachers need to be fully prepared with plenty of games and activities to keep children occupied. Young children don’t have the greatest attention span, so it’s important to have a variety of engaging activities that are leveled since not all children will be on the same developmental level. Even if you only have a few saved activities in your back pocket, knowing how to improvise when your plans fall through is essential. 

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Remember that Each Child is an Individual 

Although you’ll be teaching in a classroom full of children, it’s important to focus on each child as an individual. Young children follow their own developmental patterns so preschool teachers have the added responsibility of accommodating their teaching methods so that everyone can participate. 

Practice Patience 

Some days will be much easier than others, but practicing patience is a must when becoming a preschool teacher. Your students are just beginning to learn how to express their emotions appropriately, so modeling good behavior is key. They will be watching you to see how you react to stressful situations or disappointment and then mirroring your actions, so practicing patience at all times is very important. 

Strengthen Your Communication Skills 

You will need to communicate with parents frequently, so building positive relationships with parents and strengthening your communication skills early on in the school year will help make it easier to have serious discussions with parents regarding their children’s progress or addressing any concerns throughout the year. 

Maintain a Sense of Humor 

While teaching may be a serious job, working with young children is a fun job. Never lose sight of the fun by being too serious. When a child does something funny, it’s okay to laugh and share in their delight. 

Enjoy the Moment 

Children grow up so fast, so don’t forget to enjoy the moment. You get the privilege of seeing them take monumental steps to become more independent and capable learners. You may even get to witness some special firsts before their parents do, so even when your job is exhausting or overwhelming, try to step back and seize the moment. 

For more information on becoming a preschool teacher and experiencing all of these wonderful moments for yourself, contact Athena Career Academy. Our dedicated, knowledgeable faculty and staff are invested in your success from day one. 

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