When deciding if early childhood education is the right career choice for you, the first and most important question to ask yourself is: Do I like working with children? If you can’t answer yes, then this career may not be best for you. Working with children requires patience, dedication and sensitivity. Days can be exhausting, but if you’re up to the challenge, it can also be extremely rewarding and the most fabulous thing you decide to do.
Children in the 0-5 age group are not like other students in different fields of education. Their needs are unique and you must be aware of this. It is important to understand that you could be one of the first adults a young child has interacted with outside of his or her own family. The separation from their parents, in the beginning, can be difficult, and a teacher must help them through this transition. Great early childhood educators are adaptable to the emotional reactions of the children in the group. When it comes to the children’s interactions with other children, this can be one of the first times they interact with children their age, thus creating unique bonds, displaying unique personalities and achieving milestones.
As well as ensuring adaptability, educators must also plan, negotiate, mediate, spot clean, organise, celebrate, consider, and above all be flexible in their approach and be able to multi-task!
Early childhood educators must think outside their own mature perspective and be able to place themselves in the children’s “shoes”, getting down to their level at all times. Thinking what motivates a very young child? How do you hold a toddler’s interest? How do you make learning fun? These are all questions you will have to ask yourself. Curriculum planning in early education classrooms is very hands-on. They involve creative crafts, storytelling, physical movement, educational games and so much more. You need to be fast on your feet and highly adaptable to continuously come up with new ways to guide children through their early learning stages of learning and development.
You would be familiar with the research that states the most formative years of a child’s life is the Early Years, and becoming an educator in early childhood education makes you responsible to ensure each child has the opportunity to learn and grow to be the best they can be. Educators are people who love children – who love to watch the children’s wonder increase the more they learn. If you have passion, dedication, love and enthusiasm – this is for you!