The first five years of a child’s life are often considered some of the most important for brain development. During these years, a child’s initial health, happiness, growth, and cognitive abilities are shaped. In fact, some studies have shown that a child’s brain architecture is shaped as early as the first three years of life.
Choosing to pursue an early childhood education diploma is a pretty major decision, as you will be responsible for the growth and development of hundreds of children during the span of your career. As such, it takes someone who boasts a very specific set of characteristics to succeed as an early childhood educator. Read on to see if you have what it takes.
Patience for the Learning Process
Professionals with early childhood education training understand that young children are fairly unpredictable and don’t always display self-control. This is why one of the most important characteristics that any educator should have is patience.
Young children won’t always follow instructions or learn new things as quickly as intended, so it’s important that an early childhood educator takes the time to explain and reiterate directions, guidelines and classroom material. Educators must also observe and address each child’s individual needs along with the progress that they make, and effectively communicate this information to the child’s parents.
Enthusiasm for Children
This is a characteristic that all students enrolled in an early childhood education program likely already possess. Having an enthusiasm and a passion for children involves much more than simply enjoying their company. In fact, it means having the desire to make a change or a difference in the life of every single child, while guiding them through any obstacles they may encounter in order to ensure their success.
Creativity and Flexibility
Teaching children and holding their interest no doubt requires strategic creativity. It’s important for educators to plan fun and educational lessons that will engage their young students. Since every child has a different learning style, it’s important for an early childhood educator to be able to easily (and creatively) adapt to that child’s needs, rather than force the student to adapt to another style of learning. In addition, while most teachers will meticulously plan out their lessons for the day in advance, they must also have the flexibility to handle sudden and unexpected changes in the direction of a lesson.
Having great communication skills is a requirement to succeed in virtually any field or position today. Early childhood educators are responsible for communicating with people of various age ranges, from parents to co-workers, and of course, young students. As such, it’s important for educators to be able to speak to each person at their own level. Each educator should know the protocol of speaking to colleagues around children, and be sure that any disagreements or criticism is given outside of class times.
Do you have all of the characteristics of a successful early childhood educator?