Being a preschool teacher is more than just having an aptitude for working with children and possessing the required qualifications. It is not a part time job or a hobby for the idle. Early childhood education is a profession that is governed by strict standards of etiquette and behavior. These are not just formalities that need to be given lip service. They are an important aspect creating the right appreciation of you as an educator and engendering the atmosphere in which learning is effective. So what are the basic etiquettes of a preschool teacher? Here are the 5 most basic ones and once you have mastered these, you can begin to feel confident that you can behave in a manner that brings you and your profession the honor they deserve and also have the ability to function effectively as a preschool teacher.
- Communicate with parents. Be respectful in the way you deal with them but at the same time be honest and clear about what you are trying to communicate. Parents are rarely objective about their children so it is up to you, as the teacher, to provide them with the clear objective assessment of who and what their children are and what they need to ensure their continued growth. Use tools like clearly written regular notes and reports, memos, posting lesson plans in advance, arranging parent – teacher meetings and other special events to establish high levels of interaction.
- Always be prepared for your class. You cannot come in and then decide what you are going to do that day – it is a recipe for chaos. Plan your working and teaching schedule and communicate it to all who are concerned so that everyone involved is in the picture and on the same page. There will always be surprises when dealing with toddlers – many of them unpleasant. But a teacher who is well prepared will be able to handle the problems far better than one who is not.
- Always look your part. This means dressing appropriately. This does not mean that women should wear high heels or that men should be dressed in coats and ties. The idea is to dress in a manner that shows you are a professional who takes your work seriously and on whom parents can rely. At the same time, you should not appear to be remote or inaccessible. There are not strict dress codes for this – a lot depends on local customs and ethos. Just be sure that you look like a teacher and a person deserving respect.
- Take care of your classroom. If you classroom is disorganized and dirty, it will be taken as a reflection on the way you function. It will also affect the attitude of your students. Keep the room neat, organized and clean. Try and decorate it in a bright and cheerful way that conveys the kind of atmosphere you want the children to learn in. Keep the toys in the right places and get anything that is broken – and this will happen a lot with young kids – fixed as soon as possible Your behavior in organizing your classroom and ensuring that proper etiquette is observed there, with you setting the example, will go a long way in improving your effectiveness as a teacher.
- Spend time on improving yourself. Take the trouble to learn the appropriate etiquette and behavior for all types of occasions. Learn about the things parents want to talk about and the subjects they would rather avoid. Learn how to bring up difficult issues so that the parents you are talking to do not get turned off and become uncooperative. Be open and approachable, but not a pushover.