(BPT) - Most people assume that if you work in a preschool, all you need is love and compassion for young children. While that’s important, being a preschool teacher requires a very specific and unique set of skills — skills that are necessary to help children build character in and out of the classroom. People who excel in this field are able to simultaneously weave life lessons into their educational curriculum, helping children make good choices and develop self-esteem in their day-to-day lives. This is why it’s so crucial for children to attend schools and child care that consistently uphold the highest standards of teaching.
One example is Kiddie Academy, a nationally recognized provider of educational child care with over 275 locations nationwide. “At Kiddie Academy, we know that a great teacher creates a classroom environment where children learn and thrive,” said Joy Turner, vice president of education at Kiddie Academy. “We look for people with really special skills when we bring a new teacher into the fold. In addition to focusing on qualifications and teaching experience, we assess whether a candidate will fit in with the overall culture of our organization and staff — they must be patient, engaging, and demonstrate an overall commitment to teaching young children how to be their best selves in the classroom and beyond.”
The education team at Kiddie Academy has identified five fundamental traits that make preschool teachers superheroes:
1. They thrive in chaos.
Preschool teachers are energized and confident in situations with a dozen or so small children as they eat meals, play outside, work on creative art projects, dance, sing, and learn to use the bathroom. While they create specific classroom routines for their students, they need to be comfortable with unpredictability and improvising — each day is completely different and full of juggling unexpected situations.
2. They help children understand complicated topics.
It can sometimes feel impossible to put into words things like the importance of voting, why we celebrate Women’s History Month, why it’s important to take care of the environment, or why we should treat others with empathy. Preschool teachers are equipped with the skills needed to show the children in their classrooms how to gather and interpret information and, most importantly, ask questions, ultimately equipping children with the tools they need to become critical thinkers.
3. They have high emotional IQ and know how to teach those skills to others.
Preschool teachers have mastered the art of encouraging toddlers and young children to use empathy, respect and compromise to engage in problem solving together. These skills will serve children well for a lifetime.
4. They have rock star status.
Preschoolers think highly of their teachers, more so than almost anyone else in their lives. We know that children are highly impressionable and unknowingly seek out role models whose actions they will adopt and mirror. As a rock star in the classroom, teachers may not be required to sing on key, but are required to be a hero and lead by example.
5. They are extremely resourceful.
In a classroom full of preschoolers, teachers can find learning moments in any situation. If a torrential downpour ruins a field trip to the park, preschool teachers use their imagination and pivot to the next best thing: an indoor campout complete with s’mores and whatever ingredients teachers grabbed on their lunch break. No other job will ever require and celebrate the amount of resourcefulness and imagination that comes with being a teacher. Not every day will go as planned, but those that accept this incredible role learn and grow from it.
For more information on Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care or to explore teaching opportunities, please visit kiddieacademy.com/careers.