Why Every Preschool Teacher Needs These Six Skills in Childcare
Did you know there are over 314,667 people working in childcare in the United States? With so many people in the space, it’s important to develop skills that help you stand out from the crowd and excel in the classroom.
At LifeCubby, our team knows firsthand what it takes to be a successful early childhood pro (everyone from our Chief Customer Officer to our support staff lead has spent time working in a center).
And, because we’re dedicated to making center life a breeze for educators like you, we’re sharing the six key skills in childcare every preschool teacher needs to succeed.
With so many tasks on your to-do list at any given time, it can be easy for your mind to wander and lose focus of what’s going on in front of you in the classroom. When that happens, your students are forced to take a backseat and important things can slip through the cracks (like noticing Billy hasn’t been eating any of his meals or Kim hasn’t been sharing well with others). One way to avoid this is by planning activities that require your active participation such as themed crafts and circle time. Another way to be present is by opting for a childcare management software like LifeCubby that can help you eliminate tedious tasks and keep you from feeling overwhelmed during the day. Once you’re able to turn your focus solely on your students, you’ll be able to reach them better and they’ll thrive as a result.
As an early childhood educator, you know it’s rare everything goes according to plan. That’s why a major key to being a successful childcare pro is flexibility. Whether it’s a student having an accident in the classroom or rain during your outside time, be prepared to pivot from your regularly scheduled activities to give your students what’s best for them in the moment. To do this, try creating a list of back-up activities you can turn to if things are going off schedule at your center. Additionally, it can help to have an evergreen back-up lesson plan in case something happens and you need to leave your classroom to another teacher at the last minute.
Another important part of childcare is being in-the-know about the latest industry trends and research. There are an abundance of resources available (like Education Week and NIEER) where you can easily access up-to-date industry news. Staying plugged in to what’s happening in the early childhood space can also help you discover new ways to support struggling students and ensure each one is on the right track throughout the year. Finally, knowing the latest techniques and methods will position you as a trusted resource for families and other staff members. With that in mind, we’d recommend setting aside a small chunk of time each week to scan through the latest news.
Having a sense of creativity is key when it comes to ensuring your students are always engaged and learning. Make lessons memorable for your students by adding entertaining and compelling aspects to them. For example, you can incorporate their favorite characters into science activities, make the topic of the day an unforgettable tune or turn math time into a game they’ll want to keep playing even after they leave the center for the day. Plus, by having (and displaying) a sense of creativity in the classroom, you can be a role model for your students to flex and develop their own creative muscles.
One of the most challenging parts of working at a center is keeping a positive attitude with all the uncertainties you face throughout the day. Being enthusiastic and upbeat can have drastic impacts on everyone around you. For starters, parents might feel apprehensive about leaving their child with an educator who doesn’t seem to enjoy what they’re doing. Being enthusiastic can change that perception and make them feel more comfortable. Additionally, by being upbeat, you can set the tone in your classroom for your students to follow. Finally, if you’re constantly showing up to work excited for the day ahead, your fellow educators will take notice and want to do the same.
In order to succeed, you must be a good communicator. It’s nearly impossible to accomplish your goals inside (or outside) of the classroom without first establishing clear and effective lines of communication with everyone around you. Whether it’s communicating with parents about their child’s progress, talking with kids about the day’s lesson, or chatting with other staff members about an internal initiative, it’s crucial you’re able to formulate and express your ideas in an easy-to-understand manner. An award-winning childcare management software like LifeCubby is perfect for building an effective line of communication all year-long thanks to real-time messaging with parents, center-wide eBlasts, daily sheets and more.
Want to learn more about how LifeCubby can help you become the best early childhood educator you can be? Click here to schedule a free demo and learn more today!