As child care professionals, and teachers, our goal is to creatively craft information and experiences for our children. We must engage them, nurture them, assist them, motivate them, applaud them, and encourage them to grow, flourish, and become all that they can be.
Tall order! But that is our passion. That is what we want to do. That is what we are good at doing. That is how we know we are making a difference in our children’s lives.
As long as I have been a teacher there has been a debate of whether teaching is an Art or a Science. I believe both, but if forced to choose one category, I’ll always say it is an Art.
We all know lots of very, very smart people – and have sat in their classes to learn. They know all of the information, inside and out. But, can they disseminate the information in a way that we can understand? My experience is: not always. Or, I may understand it, but it is presented in a manner that is so boring, my mind drifts off. So, I stop listening. And learn barely anything.
It’s been my experience that early childhood professionals have to work pretty hard to get the attention of young children to be able to teach them. There are a million “moving parts!” I believe that capturing attention, motivating, all of the other soft skills are an Art.
No, I’m not saying that you don’t need to know all of the content – on the contrary! You’ve got to have the science of teaching. But the Art of teaching is the icing on the cake in my book for the work we do.
All this being said, we are really good teachers.
We’re so good, that we shouldn’t stop at teaching children. We should move on to teaching adults. And, our staff and parents deserve all that we can give to them, all that we can teach them, to be better at teaching the children that they love and work with every day.
The more time we spend mentoring and training our staff, the more that can be all that they can be in our classrooms. They will feel they have more knowledge, more tools, more confidence – they are empowered.
Being empowered is a very important component of helping a staff member be all that s/he can be.