Teaching young children in pre-K or kindergarten is not like teaching in any other age group; at this time in the children’s lives, the teacher does not exactly impart academic education to his/her students, but rather helps them get ready for and become more receptive to education later on. Therefore, it takes a few special qualities to become a successful educator in kindergarten and preschool.
An Innate Fondness for Young Minds
There is no shortage of individuals who would like to spend a little time babysitting, but it takes someone innately adapted to the task, if they are to spend hours every day working with multiple children with varying personalities, trying to teach them about the basics of education and life skills. Unless you are someone who genuinely enjoys the company of children and what their amazing little minds can come up with every now and then, it won’t feel like a rewarding career to you. Work cannot exactly feel like work when you are teaching toddlers; rather, it should feel like a responsibility that you happily look forward to on most days.
Patience is a Virtue
Even people who love being around children may find it exhausting at times as an early school educator unless they have a great deal of patience. Crying, throwing a fit, and being uncooperative are going to be a part of what you will have to handle daily.
Since these children are preschoolers with little to no understanding of how the world works, you will need to be patient with them and teach them to behave better, learn faster and handle their emotions with more control. That will not happen in a day for every child, which is why patience and perseverance are two key traits of successful early school educators.
Leading Staff in Kindergarten and Preschools Requires Special Training
If you already have sufficient experience in teaching children, then it is only natural to think about moving up in your career by taking up a leadership role. In order to take up that role and handle it with proper efficiency, you will first need an Early Childhood Leadership Advanced Certificate. The degree will allow you to apply for and assume:
- The role of principal in preschools, pre-K centers and kindergartens
- The role of assistant director or director in early childhood centers (public and private)
- The role of staff trainer and manager in early childhood education centers and other similar establishments
Children prefer structured environments as it helps them to form a sense of routine and discipline. Adults do not necessarily grow out of that habit either, so when you are both a preschool teacher and a staff leader, organizational and communication skills are essential for success in such roles.
If you believe that you are lacking in your soft skills, especially while dealing with adults in a leadership role, a small online soft skills course might help you get better accustomed to the role of leadership in any institution.