In a growing market quality educators are in demand, so how do you stand out from the crowd?
Let’s face it, no one goes into Early Childhood education for the money; it’s about educating the next generation. Be passionate about wanting to improve outcomes for children in Early Years settings and let that passion show to your friends, family, employer and the barman at your local.
2. Be true to your philosophy
Every centre has their own philosophy; ask yourself if yours matches the centre’s.
3. Maintain high standards
You are taught the ideal situation in a virtual centre where money is no object, everyone shares your passion and no one is ever sick. Unfortunately, this is not the real world so when obstacles are thrown your way, make the most of the situation whilst maintaining your high standards. For example, if there is no money in the budget for the resources you wanted, make it or go op shop hunting or ask parents – there is always a way!
4. Do not be tempted to board the negative train
“Oh she never does her job properly”, “There is too much paperwork”, “Why am I always on earlies,” are familiar moans and groans. Don’t be tempted to join in the gossip. If you are not happy with someone or something, then fix it or talk to the person who can – moaning to your co-worker achieves nothing!
5. Know your stuff
Be knowledgeable about the theories behind childhood development and why children do what they do and how you can teach them more effectively.
6. Keep on learning
Just because you have your certificate doesn’t mean that your learning should stop there. Enrol in professional developments, subscribe to newsletters and keep up-to-date with current affairs. Read as much as you can on early childhood development and watch Ted talks. Talk to colleagues and learn from their actions and your experiences.
7. Reflect, reflect, reflect
At the end of each day ask yourself – what went well today? What could I have done better? Then look about improving it the next day. No one is perfect – not you, your trainer, your colleagues nor your director. Everyone should be continually reflecting on how they can improve both professionally and personally.
8. Have fun
Enjoy your job and being with the children. Really listen to what they say and watch what they are doing and how they are discovering their world. Be involved in their play and remember it really is a gift to be able to shape the next generation.