Job Title: Early Childhood Educator
Type of Company: I work for a day care with many different classrooms and curriculums.
Education: Child Development, Fisher College (Boston, MA)
Previous Experience: I started my career at a summer camp run by the YMCA, then moved to a corporate early childhood company for almost five years. Before taking my current, I worked as a nanny for three years.
Job Tasks: I care for and teach pre-school children ages 4-5, preparing them socially and emotionally for kindergarten. To do this, I follow a weekly curriculum based on themes that keep changing all year.
Typical day: Morning Circle time, talk about home time, what is planned for the day. At center times, children choose centers to go to: art, writing, computers, math etc. Clean up, snack, bathroom. Circle time again; discuss the day of the week, date, month etc. Read a theme-related book, play games. Center time. Outside time. Lunch time then bathroom and rest time. After waking up, bathroom then snack. Afternoon circle time, discuss the day and the things we've learned. Free play, then outside time again.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: the best part of my job is watching the children grow and mature right in front of me! They have nothing but love to give to you as their teacher and they appreciate you more than you know. They feed off you and how you act and feel. Your personality will be reflected in them too.
The worst part is how stressful and even overwhelming the job can be, depending on how many kids you have in the classroom. Kids are unpredictable at times and don't always listen.
Job Tips: When going into child care, be prepared to be "on call" the ENTIRE time you are in the classroom. Consider learning fun games, thinking up great art projects, stories, songs etc. Children love to be challenged and accomplish things at the same time. Take workshops on how to prepare different centers in your classroom, such as Math, Discovery, Art etc. Kids love to have many different activities that will challenge them and keep them busy for a good amount of time.
Additional Thoughts: If you are willing to care for and teach someone else's children, you will be fine in this field. A lot of patience is required, though, and a knack for following a schedule and maintaining a routine. Children notice when you go off their schedule, and usually don't like it.
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