January 12, 2018
Arizona Early Childhood Network
As an early childhood teacher, your personal qualities and skills influence how children understand, perceive and react to your classroom environment. Patience, flexibility, creativity, passion and continued professional development are just a few important qualities that will make you a great early childhood teacher.
Patience is one of the most important qualities to have when working with young children. Young children tend to have short attention spans and may not always possess self-control. Since children do not always follow instructions or learn new tasks quickly, you must learn to patiently repeat and reinforce directions or behavioral guidelines. Flexibility When working in a classroom with young children, being flexible is a must! It’s vital for you to roll with punches and adapt to changes in a child’s temperament and mood, as well as different classroom situations that may arise. Sometimes you might spend the night planning a fun activity focused on pretend play, only to find your students disengaged and wanting to sing songs instead. Being able to quickly change gears and shape the learning environment around your students’ ever-changing interests can make a world of difference to both you students and your success.
Being a teacher means being creative. Creativity helps you develop lessons that incorporate different learning styles to accommodate the unique learning needs of each child, while remaining engaging and educational. A successful early childhood development teacher will work to make learning invisible – where children are having so much fun, they don’t realize how much they are learning at the same time!
Some of the most important qualities that guide teachers to success are their enthusiasm and passion for the development and education of their young students. They stand out by demonstrating their efforts and desire to make a difference with and every child. When you are concerned with unlocking each child's door to learning, overcoming any obstacle that a child may have, you are making a difference in each child’s life. Without passion, this challenging job may take its toll and you may get burnt out. Passion will drive you to lead with inspiration each day.
Continued education and professional development will allow you to grow your skills, advance your career, share knowledge and gain support throughout your community. Research is always discovering new facts surrounding early brain development and learning. As an early childhood professional, you should aim to stay on top of these changes so that you can continue to best suit the needs of the children you are teaching. A great way for you to develop and expand upon your skills and knowledge is to take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as trainings, certifications, conferences and networking events. Being an early childhood teacher is full of challenges, but through your work, you are setting the foundation for children’s academic career.