Key Traits of an ECE (Early Childhood Education) Teacher

We are already aware that teachers are valued members of our society.

They hold the highly responsible job of the world - to educate the masses. It is a tremendously important task to educate the next generation of young learners. At least once, you may have thought about becoming an early childhood educator, but are you aware of the responsibilities that you have to assume? Did you accurately assess your personality? What if you do not have the desired competencies to be demonstrated by an early childhood educator? How do you know if you would be a suitable candidate for the role?

Early childhood teachers need to understand child development and the best practices in teaching methods. On top of that, certain key traits make some individuals, especially well-suited personnel, work as an early childhood educator; they choose this profession because they find those required traits in them. At the same time, we cannot deny that many individuals choose early childhood educators because they foresee themselves as teachers and fail to realize whether they have the capabilities.

Needless to say, Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) play a critical role in a child's growth as 85% of brain development occurs before the age of 5. Early childhood development teachers are responsible for creating safe and interactive learning environments where children develop social skills, build self-esteem, and become lifelong learners – making it one of the most important and rewarding careers in education. 

The list of developmental needs for children is far too long, requiring passionate educators with unique skills and qualities. Do you possess these qualities?

Enthusiasm for Children

The National Association for Early Childhood Education states that the most important feature for early childhood educators is enthusiasm and passion for children. This goes well beyond enjoying being willed children. This makes it clear that the educator has the desire to make a difference for every child. ECE must have the willingness to unlock every child's door to learning by overcoming any obstacles the child may have.

Good and Engaging Personality

A great early childhood teacher is kind, gentle and has a good persona. 

They have the ability to engage students with their teaching styles and hold their attention in all discussions. Students are drawn to teachers with decent and amiable personalities.

Energetic

A good ECE brings a bit of life to their class by engaging their students in fun activities. They create an atmosphere where students feel that they can actively participate in the classroom discussion. 

Eagerness to Learn and Implement Ways Strategically

Learning is an unending process that a good teacher knows well. A passionate early childhood teacher is always on the hunt to introduce innovative learning ways and implement what has already been learned during the class in the kid's best interest. An early childhood teacher also understands that knowledge cannot be passed on only in class. Therefore, they ensure plenty of games and sports are played in class to keep the child engaged and open to learning. 

Understanding Diversity

All kids who come from different home environments and backgrounds have different learning styles. A good early childhood educator understands and accepts these differences and is willing to work with varied learning styles to make sure all students leave the classroom having achieved the identified learning objectives. 

Communication Skills

Since kindergartners are new to learning, it must be challenging to communicate with them and know them well. Therefore, a good early childhood teacher is expected to be excellent at communicating with youth learners at their level, including breaking down complex topics into easily digestible pieces. They also need to be able to provide parents with a progress report to the children so that they are aware of their child's performance. 

Communication helps parents identify instructional times in everyday situations and improve their child's preparation for kindergarten. 

Flexibility

It is likely that things will not always work out as expected. Even the best early childhood educator fails to meet the established routine or outcome due to unforeseen circumstances or learning difficulties. In such a scenario, flexibility can help reduce stressors and keep things on track. 

Patience and Humor

Young children are not so easy to handle; a large measure of patience is required. Furthermore, the nature of their age makes young children turbulent, with brief periods of attention and little self-control. Every child is different, which makes it even more difficult and may exhaust ECE. After a long and tiring day full of challenges, teachers of young children must come back and face the same and new challenges the next day.

Also, children are quite funny. They say things or do things, which make us laugh and tremble. An early childhood educator experiences all of this with children throughout the day. So, having a sense of humor and teaching makes an early childhood educator capable of better connecting with the kids they teach. 

A patient nature, combined with a great sense of humor, helps teachers take the ups and downs of each day in the process while focusing on the final goals easily. 

Knowledgeable and Up-to-date

An early childhood educator must have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subjects he teaches and must remain up-to-date with all the latest developments in these areas. It is extremely important to have complete knowledge of the topics in advance to capture the attention and participation of students. 

Creative

The key to being a quality early childhood development teacher is to think outside the box to develop and deliver excellent learning results for all children in your care. 

Creativity in the classroom is much more than making artistic projects fun for your small students. For example, you may be required to teach with limited resources or within a limited environment. Your class may also need creativity from you to teach children from different cultures or environments. You may also need to tap into your creative side to take risks and make decisions beyond the norm in your students' best interests. Creativity is critical in making learning fun and exciting for your preschool class. 

Very Organized

A key trait of teachers of this field is to be able to plan well and stay organized. Children want routines and look for interactions with you that promote a positive learning environment. 

Perseverance

An early childhood educator needs to exercise tenacity and dedication when advocating for what they believe is best for them concerning their education issues or other needs. They ought to be willing to be heard. 

Pragmatism 

As early childhood educators, they must be able to choose the goals to pursue carefully and sometimes settle for small victories as they work towards a bigger, long-term goal.

Exude Excitement

In general, the emotions of adults around these little children affect them the most, so an ECE must have a good attitude most of the time. They may be serious about rules and procedures, but they need to remember that their passion for work and children should be manifested in their personality. 

Leadership

According to Howard University professor Oliver McGee, early childhood education is more about leadership. In his opinion, elementary and secondary education is a national service of leadership, governance and stewardship. 

Early childhood teachers have a significant impact on a child's memory; they likely help guide children throughout their schooling and encourage them to overcome barriers. They were also the teachers who likely inculcated in you the idea that you can realize what you put your mind to. 

Adaptability

In many cases, a lesson plan, storybook or activity does not work or unfold as intended. They are not as ECE intended. And, the sign of a good ECE is that they are very adaptable. They adapt and accept differences. 

Classroom Management

Great early childhood education teachers have mastered classroom management. They know how to maintain order in their classrooms to create environments conducive to learning and encourage children to desire to make considerate choices on their own and learn from their mistakes when they make them every day. They understand that comprehensive education involves more than books and smart boards. Educators are aware that order is critical, but mistakes are also opportunities for learning and growth. 

Did we miss any? If yes, do let us know in the comments. 

About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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