Early childhood teachers play a critical role in the development and formation of a child as a person. Many parents need reliable guardians to provide their children with an enjoyable, developing and safe time. Early childhood teachers not only spend time with children and provide them with leisure but also actively participate in their development of children. Teachers perform various tasks, such as drawing up plans and schedules and planning educational games and activities. Today, Rhian McLeod will talk about all the subtleties of the work of an early childhood teacher. First, explain who you are and your position.
Rhian is a manager and an early childhood educator at a childcare center. She works in a licensed group childcare center that has 24 children on a day-to-day basis. When McLeod was younger, she did ballet. When Rhian was a teenager, she was a ballet teacher from 3 to 7 years old and then when she graduated from high school, she kept doing it for three years. Eventually, it became more about the fact that Rhian is enjoining to working with children and less than the ballet aspect. First, it was in Dawson Creek. Then McLeod moved to Prince George in 2017 to the College of New Caledonia, where she took her early childhood education. From that moment, Rhian had no experience in Child Care centers or preschool; she just had her experience as a ballet teacher. McLeod said she didn’t know what would come from that and went there blind. Then Rhian did her third practicum at the place where she is working, and currently, she has been working at this childcare center for about four years.
Rhian has multiple responsibilities at the childcare center as a manager and early childhood educator. As a manager, Rhian oversees all the staff, preparing and performing training for the team, working with scheduling, making sure that everyone is doing their job, completing daily paperwork, and running a book club for children. McLeod said that she is constantly learning, professionally developing, going to workshops and educating herself about this field., going to workshops, Rhian also works with the children every day. As an educator, Rhian does daily teaching activities and kinder garden preparation. Educators focus on teaching children social and emotional skills, health and well-being. Significant focus is also on positive relations between children and parents, children and children’s development, and individual development. Every teacher constantly communicates with parents about how their children learn and develop. Every child is different, and staff are looking at how they can adopt and adjust their program based on every child’s needs. In facilities, teachers are making many plays for early childhood. It’s very beneficial for children to include games, and it’s a big focus for educators. The program has lots of open-ended play structure and follows a scheduled day—teachers work closely with the child development centre and have good relationships with them. During the day, educators make schedules and plan daily activities, like baking, going for a walk, fundraising, learning moments, celebrating many different cultures, and celebrating festivals like Holi and Diwali. Childcare center focuses on diversity and cultural differences.
Now let’s look at how normal day at work look for Rhian McLeod. The Centre opens at 8. All teachers arrived at the same time. The staff have a morning meeting to go over plans and work with specific children on any changes in the schedule. The children came, the team great them, put lunch away and then had free play. The mornings set the tone for the day. Children have a friendly, calm environment and an invitation to play.
Usually, Rhian sets around the classroom with calm music and plays. The Centre is on two floors; teachers split children into two groups, one group going upstairs to play and another group staying on the main floor. Then Rhian did group activities with the children. Mealtime goes after group activities and plays a vital role in social development. After, Rhian takes the children to go outside to the big, beautiful yard with a playground and lots of different places where they can play.
After everyone comes inside, then McLeod has circle time with the children. In circle time, Rhian sings songs and tells stories, and it’s always a different theme. All the teachers are very patient about teaching and put much effort into what they want to teach at circle time. And circle time is a big learning part of the children’s day. Teachers put much effort into this circle time and much learning. Then children have lunch time, teachers dive into groups, and younger children go upstairs for nap time. Older kids are staying on the main floor. Children who don’t want to sleep have rest time with books and playing with toys. After, if the weather is nice, everyone goes back outside to play or has more plays inside until pick-up time. Every day is different depending on the schedule and theme that teachers picked.
Rhian said that the program is planning one of your favourite parts. Teachers pick different themes, and each week something new. For example, in this month’s week of fall, we are talking about leaves changing. The following week is Diwali, the festival of lights, where teachers also talk about the transition from fall to winter. The week after Halloween, and so on. Every week something new for the children. The program and classroom time reflects the teaching, and it’s inspiring to teach kids something new, and the whole team is getting excited to be a part of it and passionate about it. In general, having a conversation with children, building connections, helping kids learn and grow, and watching progression are why Rhian loves her job. Children start when they are three and finish when they are five. It’s just great to see how the changes as people in two years.
Rhian said that early childhood education is a great field to work in and grow as an individual. The area is constantly changing the way that educators teach children. Seeing how much children are capable of so many things is very enjoyable and rewarding. Yes, some days can be challenging, but it’s worth it if they are more positive moments and good days, Rhian said. Finding a childcare center that fits your values and goals is crucial. McLeod has been at other childcare centers that don’t necessarily align with how she teaches or with the type of educator she is. Around are so many centers, and they are so different. Rhian recommended that anyone, before locking yourself into a job, search for various companies and see which one will fit with her values and teaching methods. Every center has a different program, focusing on the other age groups. Then, find one where you will enjoy working.
Rhian said that people who generally care, want to work with children, and want to be an educator would be an excellent fit for an early childhood educator position. It would help if you continually educate children and yourself, trying to find different ways and ideas about what you teach and how. You are constantly growing as a teacher. You bring your energy and positivity to the kids who enjoy being around you. Suppose you are a compassionate and patient individual who likes to educate children and see how they grow. That is this place for you; however, if you are looking for work experience, business to work, money and not ready to spend your day with kids, don’t go. All children are susceptible and can feel the energy you bring to them daily. You need to enjoy the children and the place where you are working.