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Qualities of a Good Early Childhood Teacher

by
author image Michelle Kulas
Michelle Kulas worked in the health-care field for 10 years, serving as a certified nurses' assistant, dental assistant and dental insurance billing coordinator. Her areas of expertise include health and dental topics, parenting, nutrition, homeschooling and travel.
Qualities of a Good Early Childhood Teacher
Educator Photo Credit Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Overview

The pediatric pros at the KidsHealth website not that roughly 70 percent of parents use some form of early care for their children. Whether your child goes to day care while you're at work or you are looking for a more educational preschool program, understanding what qualities to look for in an early childhood teacher is a must when it comes to your little learner's development and your own comfort level.

Meets Educational Requirements

Early child educators should receive a well-rounded education, according to the Association for Childhood Education International. When choosing child care or an early learning environment, you should look for teachers that understand and are familiar with various facets of child development, from infancy to the elementary school years. The National Association for the Education of Young Children notes that early childhood educators who have training in the field provide academic and developmental benefits to the children who they teach. Teachers must know how children learn, and the current research that informs how they facilitate that learning.

Flexibility

According to EduGuide, early childhood teachers should have flexibility when it comes to lesson planning. This includes the ability to change their lesson plans to meet the needs of the children and their various learning styles. Look for an early educator who believes that each child is unique, and will adapt activities to fit the child's specific needs. For example, if your child isn't ready to write her A,B,C's by herself, the teacher should offer an alliterative such as tracing her letters.

Gentle But Firm Disciplinarians

EduGuide also suggests that a good teacher will strive to keep good discipline in the classroom, using positive techniques. Your child's teacher should use a discipline strategy that is gentle and loving. Additionally, a good teacher should have good self-control at all times. The teacher should not hold a grudge against a child or try to intimidate the young students. Young children must learn the classroom rules, and a good early childhood educator will help them by enforcing the rules consistently and fairly.

Promotes Positive Self-Images

According to a report prepared by Catheryn J. Weitman and Janie H. Humphries for the Annual Conference of the Southern Association for Children Under Six, both kindergarten teachers and principals in Louisiana and Texas feel that it is important for a teacher to help young children to develop a positive self-image. EduGuide states that a successful teacher will use group activities to allow children who are "behind" their peers to work on their skills, while helping the children who are "ahead" to practice good leadership. These types of activities can help children on all levels to feel good about themselves, about learning and about school.

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