Cynthia has taken units in early childhood education before entering into primary teaching.
The preschool teacher in whose care a young child is placed, wields great influence upon him/her and can well help to shape child’s future. Working with children is a serious responsibility. Young children are very impressionable. They learn to behave and respond as they are treated. Thus, a preschool teacher, first and foremost, must have to understand why the children behave as they do to effectively guide them.
It is of utmost importance for the preschool teacher to use soft and gentle voice. Children learn by example and the way in which the teacher say things and relates to others will teach the children as much as what he/she says. Show care, patience, cheer and natural fondness fro the children. These are communicated to them through the teacher’s behavior. As Adam said, “a teacher affects eternity. She/he can never tell where his/her influence stops”. We believe this is true and perhaps most true of a child’s first school teacher, the preschool teacher.
The preschool teacher serves many roles requiring a variety of competencies that permit a focus on the whole child. All aspect of a preschooler’s development and learning including contact and cooperation with the child’s family are within the teacher’s domain. The many roles played by the teacher may be divided into the following categories.
The preschool teacher is one of the many significant adult influences in the child’s life; supporting and extending the roles of child’s parents. Nurturing young children in the adjustments to the elementary school is a critical function.
- She/he considers the child’s physical and socio-emotional well-being as well as intellectual and physical growth.
- Maintains a safe environment
- Makes each child feel special and valued as an individual
- Establishes an atmosphere of warmth, comfort, stability, dependability and enthusiasm in the classroom.
To effectively carry out all other roles, the preschool teacher should be a careful and sensitive observer of young children. Observing children’s behavior in spontaneous, self- initiated activities as well as that in teacher-initiated activities and routines is useful. Insights gained from careful observation are the keys to meeting the developmental needs of each child.
- Observes all children in all areas od development- physical, socio-emotional and intellectual.
- Interprets observations within the context of the whole child.
- Use insights gained through observation to plan, evaluate, and communicate
- Maintains a written record observation concerning each child’s development.
The preschool teacher plans appropriate learning experiences for individual child and the whole group. A good plan includes consideration of what should happen, why, to or with whom, when and how. Goals must be set for each class and each child.
- Plans experiences related to several goals simultaneously, i.e. integrate the curriculum and relate different curriculum areas to one another.
- Identifies materials for children e.g. manipulatives, puzzles and blocks.
- Modifies plans on the basis of children’s spontaneously interests and individual needs and plans for learning activities.
The preschool teacher should play an active role in all children’s experiences by sharing in children’s interactions with the physical and social environment. The teacher as an interactor can extend children’s current knowledge and skills through mutual participation in experiences. Becoming a partner in the learning process makes the teacher a resource and a stimulus to thinking and growing. The interactor views learning as a process requiring problem-solving and exploration.
- Produce a wide variety of experiences and materials to give children ample opportunities to interact with their environment.
- Encourage children to work together and independently when appropriate.
- Promote group cohesiveness, self-respect and respect for others.
- Assists children in resolving conflicts in a positive way.
- Promotes children’s decision-making and critical thinking.
The preschool teacher is responsible for evaluating children’s learning development. Individual evaluation is an on-going process designed to enhance each child’s possibilities for success.
- Is aware of different learning styles.
- Uses skillfully a variety of evaluation techniques such as observing, questioning, inventories, and task-taking.
- Evaluates the results of formal tests and screenings in the light of the child’s daily classroom behavior.
- Minimize competition among children.
The preschool teacher teacher’s role as a communicator involves both communication about individual child and communicating to other adults like parents and the general public to gain the understanding , trust and cooperation of all concerned.
Develops an effective system of regular reports to parents about their child’s progress.
Uses a variety of means for communication e.g. conferences and meetings.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cynthia
Liz Westwood from UK on November 18, 2020:
This is an interesting and insightful article. It is important never to under value the role of teachers for children of all ages.