Responsible for caring and educating children between the ages of 3 and 5, the nursery school teacher, also sometimes called a preschool teacher, plans and carries out activities that help young children learn and progress. He or she teaches primarily through play, games, storytelling and experiments. The nursery school teacher must use the resources at his or her disposal imaginatively, so that activities aren’t particularly costly, but foster creativity amongst children while encouraging the development of good social and communication skills.
In addition to creating a safe environment in which children can learn to function both as an individual and as part of a group, the nursery school teacher must also establish a relationship of trust with parents and guardians, so that they feel their young ones are in capable hands. Getting to know parents and guardians, including their occupations, can be useful, as knowing that a child’s caretaker works in a bank or teaches at dental assistant schools helps you understand the child better.
To be successful in this line of work, you must be patient, have good communications skills and be genuinely compassionate, loving and caring towards children. Being well-organized can also be a valuable asset. With the right training, such as a program from an early childhood college, you can find employment in daycare centres, pre-schools, kindergartens, nursery schools or non-profit organizations, among others. Your early childhood assistant training will introduce you to concepts such as the role of the childcare worker, concepts of child development, program planning, health and safety, nutrition, CPR/First Aid and much more.
In the morning
Morning is often the most chaotic part of the day for a nursery school teacher. As children come in, the teacher must make sure they aren’t overly upset by their parent or guardian’s departure. Children can also be overexcited as they come in, so these scenes can create a lot of movement requiring fast-thinking and rapid interventions.
Parents often communicate important information about the child during this transition period, such as a bottle of cough syrup that should be given after lunch. If too much information comes in all at once, you may end up forgetting important tasks later on, so make sure to take notes if you don’t want to risk forgetting or misremembering.
Once parents are gone, the day is yours! Before getting an activity from your plan of the day underway, it can be helpful to start the day with a simple group exercise, such as having all the children form a circle and then sing a song as a group. Establishing a routine that structures each day in a similar way, such as starting the day with a circle, moving on to an activity, having snacks, moving to playtime and so on, can be beneficial for you as well as your pupils. Children respond well to routine and structure, as they learn to anticipate what is coming next and what is expected of them.
Some fresh air
During the day, make sure to save time for nap time, if necessary, as well as outdoor activity, if possible and if the weather permits it. Being locked up inside for too long is no fun for children, so they will appreciate some sunlight and fresh air.
At the end of the day, give yourself enough time to wrap-up the final activity before parents or guardians return. This period of the day can offer some really sweet and touching moments, as children are often overjoyed to see their caretakers again. Lastly, before the day is over, the nursery school teacher must make sure to relay important information about a child’s behaviour or activities during the day to his or her parent or guardian. These can be positive or negatives, as highlighting a child’s achievements is just as important as identifying bad behaviour.