While no two teachers are the same, two qualities they all need to have in common are love for children and passion for teaching. But these in themselves are not enough to make a person a good teacher. If you are planning for a career in early childhood education, here are a few of the qualities you will need to be successful in your future profession.
- Patience is not a virtue, it is a necessity. You will be asked the same questions over and over again; and you might face the same problems time after time. There is a great deal of repetition in caring for young children and without the patience to cope up with it, you and your students will have a hard time.
- A preschool teacher has to cover a range of subjects. You should have a solid understanding of the subjects you will be dealing with. Remember that young children can often ask the most difficult and awkward questions and you need to have answers for them.
- Teaching is a rapidly changing profession in terms of both teaching methods and course materials. You will need to have the commitment to staying abreast with all the latest developments in your field to have a successful career.
- You must have the kind of personality that enables you to relate to the children you are teaching. You must be able to communicate and talk to them, not at them. Every aspect of teaching is based on the ability to communicate in a variety of mediums.
- No amount of training will prepare you for all the problems you will face on the job. You will need the ability to think on your feet and stay cool in a crisis in order to reassure the children that you are in control.
- Young children have short attention spans and get bored easily. You will need to be innovative in the way you communicate and teach to retain their attention.
- As you progress in your career you will have a large number of students to deal with, many subjects to cover and a wide array of administrative work to handle. This means that you will need to be organized and methodical in the way you approach your work, failing which things may descend into chaos.
- Try to approach your work and problems as matured as you can. It is this that will earn you the respect of your students and coworkers as well.
- You must be a good listener. One of the best ways to develop rapport with children is to let them know that you are a person who is ready to listen to what they have to say.
- You need to be a leader. Without this quality you cannot expect your students to follow you and obey your instructions. Being a teacher gives you authority. But only being a leader earns you the respect that makes for a really good teacher.
Very few people are born with all the qualities needed to be a good teacher. Most of them either had a mentor who guided their development or learned on the job by trial and error. Experience is the best teacher, but knowing the qualities you need to succeed will enable you to learn the most from the experiences you will have as you begin your career.