Early childhood educators (ECEs) invest years into their education to gain their childcare qualifications, not to mention the extra hours of training they go through every year to provide the best possible care to children and their families.
They also go through the emotional investment of teaching children important life lessons and life skills while experiencing their significant milestones. Despite this, there still remains a stigma attached to the profession – a common belief that it’s an easy job that anyone can do.
Here are the top 3 reasons why Early Childhood Educators deserve more respect:
1) They wear many different hats.
ECEs do more than just teaching. They have to juggle multiple roles such as being a disciplinarian, an advisor and also a confidante, as children face more than just academic struggles in school. This is especially so for younger students who need more attention.
There is a lot of effort that goes into the job. Teaching itself involves engaging children during lessons, collaborating with colleagues and community partners, and continuously seeking new information and knowledge to improve educator’s skills and expertise. ECEs also have to observe students closely and make decisions to help children acquire skills and meet learning goals.
They also have to establish positive and productive relationships with families. Dealing with parents can be the most difficult part of the job. When children or parents pose challenges, or when they have a bad day, educators have to persevere not only because of their strong commitment to their career but also to the children and families they serve.
2) It’s not all fun and games.
People may think that because child care involves a lot of fun that ECEs don’t work as hard as teachers of other grades but that is simply not true. A child’s critical learning years are between the start of infancy to 5 years old which is when children develop 85 per cent of their learning capacity. To make the most of these precious years, ECEs have to dedicate countless hours and effort for their students.
What often seems like silly, fun, creative activities are based on lesson plans specially created to focus on the children’s developmental needs based on their age. The activities ECEs plan provide multi-sensory experiences using different colours, textures and sound to provide the mental stimulation that children need.
On a typical day in the classroom, children learn about problem-solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, social skills, self-help skills, fine motor skills, literacy, numeracy, art, music and movement, outdoor education, appreciation for the outdoors, gross motor skills and more.
Educators also give critical insights into what a child is missing in their development and what areas to focus on. This means having to pay individual attention to the needs of every child in their classroom which is no easy feat.
3) High-quality early childhood education has long-term benefits
A research study called the Perry Preschool Study followed a group of adults through the age of 40 to determine whether access to high-quality education could have a positive impact on preschool children.
The study found that adults at age 40 who went through a high-quality preschool program had higher earnings, were less likely to commit a crime, were more likely to hold a job and have a high school cert than those who did not. This is clear proof that a high-quality learning environment during childhood can have long-term benefits in the future.
That is the real magic of Early Childhood Educators and why they should be granted more respect. It’s not just lessons that they teach or the skills that they help to develop. It is also their power to inspire children and encourage a love of learning that can last a lifetime.
So the next time you pick your child up from school, be sure to thank their teachers for all the time and effort they’ve invested into your child to set him or her up for a successful future.
Much love from one parent to another,