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What does it take to be a Preschool Teacher?

Home Forums Early Education What does it take to be a Preschool Teacher?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Caty Trio 5 years, 7 months ago.

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    To be an early childhood educator you must meet some criteria. You must have the education and experience to deal with young children, a high morale to supply you with positive energy, and you should be physically fit to make sure that everyone in your care is safe and being well cared for. Do I have these criteria? I do but it still makes me think if I have what it takes to be a preschool teacher.

    I have been a preschool teacher for more than twenty years. I started teaching when I was eighteen being a substitute teacher to support myself while finishing a degree in Biology. I am now in my early forties and I am still teaching preschool in one of the BH centers in Arlington Virginia. My calling may be in this field because no matter how I tried to get away from the teaching profession, my life circumstances keep pulling me toward it.  I met my husband when I took my bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and we got married after graduation. We were both teaching college when I got pregnant and I decided to stop teaching for a while to prioritize my family. When my son turned two years old, I gave birth to a daughter. For four years, I have been a full time mom. Oh, I love those moments when all I cared about was taking care of my two children and my husband who delightfully comes home and enjoys well-prepared dishes. During which time, I attended short term baking classes and sewing lessons. I was even thinking that I might be changing into another profession, probably becoming a chef or a fashion designer. My children got the best education during their first childhood years. They learned how to read at four and are very good in just everything right now. This June 2011 my son graduated in 8th grade with a presidential award for being an honor student. My daughter who finished 6th grade is also in the Principal’s List, the highest award that the student in their level is given. Since they were in school, they never missed to be in the honors’ list every grading period and brought home awards every single year.

    When my son turned four, I began to look for a “perfect school” where my ideals should be met. I went school shopping and compared one school with another. I went into the details of their program and made sure that this school should pass my criteria. When I finally found the one I liked, I got my son registered and of course, being a first timer, I experienced the so-called separation anxiety. This is why I can very well relate with what most parents in my classroom feel as they leave their children with me for drop-off time. They needed to be reassured that their child is safe and well cared for. While my son was in school, I was left with my two year old daughter to take care of while my husband went abroad to join the U.S. Navy. It was also the same time when my son’s teacher was diagnosed to have laryngitis and she needed to take the time off from work. I guess it was destiny’s calling why I am a Preschool teacher now. The school director found my credentials and teaching experiences from my son’s school records and asked if I would be interested to teach again. From then on, I returned to my life-long career path, teaching preschool.

    While I was my children’s preschool teacher at the same time, their mom, I went further to take my teaching credentials. I took credits in the master’s program in special education for kids with learning difficulties. This helped me to understand and become more patient with kids who have special needs but right now after all I learned from books and school, I still have questions, am I doing the right thing to help this child with behavioral problem? Personally, I can say that to become an early childhood educator is a calling that requires courage to respond.


    Caty Trio

    Thank you for sharing, Sybil. Teachers play an important role in the lives of young children and some people have such an amazing gift for the profession. In your opinion, what characteristics do you think are most important for a teacher to possess? What do others think? Are there standout qualities you’ve noticed in your children’s (or your own) teachers?


    I’d say passion and creativity are really key. Coupled with the ability to really connect with kids, those are great skills for a teacher to possess and ones that some of my favorite teachers exhibited.


    Caty Trio

    This quote was shared today on the Bright Horizons Facebook page:


    ?”The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” What do you love most about your child’s teacher??


    I thought it was appropriate for this conversation and such a nice sentiment. 


    This was great to read. Courage as a requirement? YES!

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