Aaliya have experienced working with freshly trained ECD teachers. Hence she understands that many fresh teachers often find it difficult to comprehend different responsibilities they are expected to complete as a new ECD teacher at school. Hence, she throws ‘Advice for a new ECD teacher’ right here for you.
Be organised and well prepared
Organisation is a key when you are an Early Childhood Educator. Right from your children to their belongings, everything becomes your responsibility. So organise them well!!
There are varied possessions you would use in your class. This includes, teaching material, manipulative, equipment that help engage children, worksheets, portfolios and so much more. So you may like to use some organisation tools that Aliya strongly recommends.
Creating bins is one of them. Your children’s portfolios can be stored in huge plastic bins nicely decorated and labelled as per your class needs. You got to label all the storage boxes with the material name on it so that you and your children are well aware about which boxes to pick when.
Keeping everything well organised shall help you attain stability in your class. You would then see, that this will eventually help you to be well prepared for delivering your lessons in class.
Establish a regular routine
Routines are nothing but predictable patterns for young children that occurs each day in their classroom. Setting up routines can have a two way effect in the classroom. The children would be able to predict which activity is coming up next and what are they expected to do. And for you as teachers, it would be simply great to focus on instructions you give them. This would simply make your class aligned.
Understanding Children’s need
Every child is unique, said Madam Maria Montessori. And every Early Childhood Educator experiences this in their classroom and so will you. Though there are some standard patterns of human development, but not necessarily every child would follow those patterns. You would have to pay attention where they lack or which skill do they master. Your lessons can then be moulded in alignment of their age and developmental milestones.
Become a keen observer
Observation is a very important tool in assessment. When you are an Early Childhood Educator, you also need to be alert when you are around children. Observe and make note of their behaviour, track them for over a period of time to assess their development with respect to the five developing domains. Observations will also help you to analyse the strengths and weaknesses children demonstrate while engaging with different activities.
Analysis of these observations shall then help you to design your lessons in a more customised way for your children as per their needs.
Assuming that you have entered the field of Early Childhood Education, we consider that you must be definitely a highly patient person.
Because patience is considered as one of the essential characteristics of Early Childhood Educators. As discussed earlier, you would deal with variety of children and their challenges throughout your career. Right from slow learners to quick learners or those with emotional or behavioural challenges. With so much of diversity, you need to be patient so you can maintain the balance and order of the class effectively.
Get parental support
Engaging with parents often is also a marker on your job role. Children often behave differently in school and than at home. When you converse with parents more often sharing with them your understanding about the child’s growth, there are increased chances that the parents would trust you and share their child’s behavioural patterns back at home. Involving parents into their child’s growth and development would add a star to your arena.
Review and Reflect
Reflections are another important key to success. Gibb’s reflective learning cycle is one of Aliya’s favourite tool here.
- Talk about feelings you had during that experience
- Evaluating what was good or bad about that experience
- Describing your experience
- Analysing what sense can you make of this situation
- Conclude by thinking what else could you have done ?
- And set up an action plan if the same or similar situation arises again.
It’s highly recommend that you review and reflect after every class using this cycle. It would definitely help you and engage you in continuous learning.
Admit your mistakes and learn from them
We are humans and humans can never be perfect. Aliya still commits mistakes despite of her experiences. It’s okay to not know something. Do not panic. While you review and reflect, understand what went wrong and try fixing it again. And you shall be fine. A complaint from your supervisor or any other higher authority should not be considered a warning but an opportunity to learn and grow.
Model desired attitudes and behaviour
The teachers become role models for young children in many different ways. Be aware, your young children are great observers too. They observe every bit of you, when do you enter the class, what do you wear, how different is your hairstyle from last week or whether do you yourself follow the rules set. Once Aliya in her class, tossed the chocolate wrapper into the dustbin, but unfortunately failed. She immediately called out to herself and said, “Oh no, I missed the shot. I should right away pick it up and throw it right inside the bin.” There were two children in the class who were watching her and learned from her mistake.
Once a teacher, always a learner
Remember, you are a teacher now. This profession let’s you create many other professions, but these future professionals will also teach you much more than you can ever imagine. They say professional development should always be a part of a teacher’s life. But Aaliya strongly believes that a teacher is upgraded each day in her own class through her own experiences gained from her very own young children.
If you are a New ECD teacher, do share your experiences in the comments below or if you know someone who is going to be a New ECD teacher do share this pieces of Advice for a new ECD teachers with them. It can help them outgrow and be confident to begin their new journey.