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early childhood education teacher teaching kindergarten class

What Does An Early Childhood Educator Do? 

Ms Frizzle, Mister Rogers, and Miss Honey are just a few examples of our favorite early childhood heroes who taught us a thing or two beyond our ABCs!

These memorable teachers played crucial roles in the development of young minds. They facilitated learning, fostered social and emotional growth, and prepared children for future schooling.

Being an early childhood educator is one of the most rewarding teaching roles, but it’s not for everyone.

Before pursuing this teaching pathway, consider your teaching strengths, adaptive skill sets, and the career possibilities that will be available to you.

How do I know if I’ll be a good early childhood educator? 

Qualities like dedication to your profession, ability to apply educational theories in practice, and willingness to continually learn are just a few to help ensure your success.

Should I become an early childhood educator? 

Choosing this career path takes special dedication and care in making this decision. Early childhood education is an opportunity to shape young minds and future leaders during their most crucial developmental years. Your impact on your students’ academic, social, and emotional learning can lead to the decisions they make later in life. 

Working in this field can bring immense satisfaction and purpose as you know you’re making a difference in young lives. 

To help you decide whether a career in early childhood education is for you, we’ve compiled a few of the most commonly asked questions to help you choose the right teaching pathway.

  • What does an early childhood educator do?
  • What skills do early childhood teachers have?
  • Is it hard being an early childhood educator?
  • What are three different careers you could have in early childhood education?
  • What is the highest-paying job in early childhood education?

What does an early childhood educator do?

Early childhood educators work with young students up to 8 years old at preschools, daycares, and kindergartens. Their main role is to provide a safe, nurturing, and educational environment for children to learn and grow.

Some of the responsibilities of an early childhood educator include the following:

  • Planning kid-friendly activities that foster developmental growth in areas like language, math, science, and social skills.
  • Keeping an eye on students’ progress to ensure they’re meeting developmental milestones and advancing well.
  • Establishing a welcoming classroom atmosphere that sparks curiosity, experimentation, and social interactions.
  • Offering support and guidance for children facing emotional or behavioral hurdles.
  • Keeping thorough records of every child’s progress and development.
  • Pursuing professional development by staying engaged in educational opportunities and training.

Overall, an early childhood educator plays a vital role in setting the foundation for a child’s future success by providing high-quality education and care during their formative years.

What skills do early childhood teachers have?

Early childhood teachers have a wide range of crucial skills that are significant to their job performance:

Understanding Child Development: A profound comprehension of various aspects of child development like cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth is indispensable for early childhood teachers. This understanding enables them to design suitable learning experiences and nurture children’s overall progress.

Classroom Management: Handling a classroom filled with young kids demands specific abilities like establishing routines, setting boundaries, and fostering a positive and secure atmosphere.

Curriculum Development: These teachers must be adept at designing lesson plans and formulating curricula that are engaging and age-appropriate for their students.

Assessment and Observation: It’s vital for early childhood educators to evaluate children’s development and keep track of their progress using observation and documentation techniques. This process helps them deliver valuable feedback and modify the learning plan accordingly.

Communication Skills: Being able to effectively share information with children, parents, and colleagues is crucial for early childhood educators. It’s important that they can connect with everyone involved in a genuine and compassionate way.

Technology Skills: As we live in a digital era, it is crucial for early childhood teachers to be familiar with technology usage in the classroom. This skill set includes employing educational software, interactive whiteboards, and other digital resources to augment learning experiences.

Overall, early childhood educators require a diverse set of hard skills to effectively teach and foster the growth and development of young children. These skills are generally acquired through education, training, and field experience.

Additionally, successful early childhood teachers demonstrate essential qualities such as:

Patience: Exhibiting considerable patience while working with children at varied developmental stages is crucial.

Creativity: Educators must craft appealing lesson plans that accommodate different learning abilities and preferences.

Adaptability: Teachers should possess the flexibility to address emerging challenges like managing behavioral issues or modifying their teaching techniques.

​​Is it hard being an early childhood educator?

Being an early childhood educator can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding. You need to possess immense patience, great communication skills, and a genuine love for working with young children.

Teachers often deal with demanding parents, limited resources, and long work hours. However, the opportunity to make a positive impact on young lives, watch them grow and develop, often outweighs the challenges.

What are three different careers you could have in early childhood education?

Curious about potential careers in early childhood education? There are several rewarding paths to choose from! Besides taking on managerial roles like being an administrator or specialist, you might consider:

Becoming a Preschool Teacher: These caring professionals teach children aged 3 to 5 and give them a solid foundation for their future learning adventures as they enter elementary school.

Working as a Childcare Worker: In this role, your main goal is to look after little ones’ daily needs such as feeding and personal hygiene, all while offering stimulating age-appropriate learning experiences.

Diving into the world of Special Education Teaching: As a special education teacher, you’d be making a big difference in the lives of young children with disabilities or developmental delays, crafting tailored educational approaches to suit each individual’s specific requirements.

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What is the highest paying job in early childhood education?

The top-earning position in the field of early childhood education depends on education and experience, as well as the location and type of organization you work for. However, some of the highest paying jobs (in USD) in this field include:

Early Childhood Education Administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day functions of programs like preschools and daycares. Their median annual salary averages between $50,000 and $70,000, depending on the size and location of the institution.

Early Childhood Education Professor: Educators who teach early childhood education at colleges can earn a pretty decent living. Their median salary averages around $70,000 to $80,000 a year.

Early Intervention Specialist: These specialists assist little kids who have development issues or disabilities by providing support and interventions to help them reach their potential. Their median yearly salary averages between $50,000 and $60,000.

Curriculum Specialist: Last but not least, curriculum specialists create and improve early childhood education programs to make sure they’re suitable and effective for kids’ development. Their median annual pay is about $45,000 to $60,000.

Take the next step on early childhood education teaching journey

Working with kids is a fun and fulfilling job with plenty of room to grow and learn.

If you’re ready to take the next step, enroll in the next online teacher certification program cohort with Teach Away and become a specialist in early childhood education. Teach Away’s teacher certification program is accredited, state-approved, affordable, and completely asynchronous, which means you can complete this program from home in under a year.

Early childhood educators are in demand around the world. Get certified this year, and start teaching abroad by next year!

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