Becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding professions out there. Educators influence the lives of their students and teach them valuable skills and life lessons that can help them in their journey through life. Typically, every student’s first lessons come from their early childhood education classrooms.
In Singapore, early childhood educational institutions typically include kindergarten and child care centres. The former provides developmental programs for children aged two to seven years old, while child care centres take in children as young as 18 months old. The main difference between the two institutions is that child care centres are targeted toward working parents as they’re typically open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Child care centres also usually provide children with meals and nap times. On the other hand, kindergartens have shorter hours and prepare kids for formal schooling.
In these institutions, an early childhood educator is responsible for creating an environment that is safe, interactive, and conducive to learning, where kids can develop their social, cognitive, and motor skills. More importantly, early childhood educators play a significant role in building children’s self-esteem and helping them become lifelong learners—which is why many people consider being a fulfilling career.
If you’re considering a teaching position in early childhood Singapore schools, you must first fulfil the professional requirements of being an early childhood educator. Moreover, possessing certain qualities can help you become effective in the classroom. To find out if being an early childhood educator is your true calling, pay close attention to these different characteristics.
You Appreciate Working with Small Children
If you love working with small children, it’s one of the signs that being an early childhood educator is for you. Indeed, it’s an important trait you need to have to be successful. Since this teaching role involves being around very young kids most of the time, you need to have an innate interest in looking after children, especially those aged seven years old and below.
Typically, early childhood educators develop a fondness for young kids from being surrounded by them. For example, they may have grown up in a large family with little brothers and sisters or younger cousins. They could also have had experience babysitting or working in children’s community programs. In some cases, they’re proud parents who may have enjoyed giving guidance to their children quite a lot. If any of these experiences feel similar to yours, then a career in early childhood education may be meant for you.
You Are Patient and Compassionate
Kids at a young age are still learning a lot of basic skills like sharing, understanding instructions, and following rules. They also need assistance with simple tasks like tying their shoes and going to the bathroom. So, you can’t expect them to immediately comprehend what you’re saying as well as take care of themselves.
In these situations, you need to be patient in teaching them and helping them develop these important life skills. You also need to be compassionate to understand that they’re young and have limitations. Thus, your capacity for patience and compassion will be very valuable as you teach children these essential lessons.
You’re Creative and Enthusiastic
One thing you can expect when you become an early childhood educator is that the entire teaching process can be a lot of fun. Since early childhood education uses activity-based learning, each day will involve creative and exciting activities and games.
Also, small children typically learn through physical actions. They work and play together to develop socially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. To ensure your young students reach developmental milestones, you constantly need to come up with various games, projects, and challenges. Your students also need a lot of encouragement to participate in the activities, especially the shyest ones.
You Have Excellent Communication and Organization Skills
Children typically need a structured environment to thrive and succeed, and it helps if they know what their teachers expect of them. As such, if you have great organization skills, it will be very handy if you’ll pursue a career as an early childhood educator. In this role, you’ll need to effectively plan out different activities, as well as efficiently communicate instructions while helping children understand the objectives of every activity.
Apart from your future students, you’ll likely also spend a great deal of time talking to parents, other educators, and the institution’s higher officials regarding your students’ progress and development. Thus, having great communication skills is an advantage.
You Value Your Influence as a Child’s First Teacher
As an early childhood educator, you’ll play the very important role of being one of the first teachers a child will have. Their experience with you will shape their impressions about school and learning, how they socialize, and how confident they’ll become of themselves. The education young children receive will also have a strong impact on their learning and professional outcomes later in life, including their educational achievements and future careers.
As such, you have a very special opportunity and responsibility. You’re one of the first people that can help them create wonderful learning experiences outside their homes. If this seems like something you want and will enjoy, then this career is perfect for you.
You’re Passionate about Early Childhood Education
The field of early childhood education is growing, and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of quality early childhood programs in Singapore and all over the world. These programs can affect children’s cognitive development, motor skills, and emotional quotient.
While this area of education has already come a long way, it will continue to change as the needs of children and society at large evolve. There will be better programs, and educators will develop improved approaches to teaching so more children can get the most out of their education. If you feel passionate about the development of early education programs and want to take children’s learning to a higher level, you’ll be a valuable asset to the industry.
Being an early childhood educator is a fulfilling career because of the strong impact you can have on each of your students’ lives. As an educator, you have the special opportunity and responsibility in moulding young learners. If becoming an educator in such a setting has crossed your mind, you should know that possessing certain traits like the ones mentioned above can be very valuable to being an effective teacher. If most of these qualities feel familiar to you, these may be the signs you’re looking for that confirms that your true calling is to be an early childhood educator.