How can I be the best preschool teacher possible?

I'm 24 years old and I'm going to school to become a preschool teacher. My school semester is over in two weeks and then I will have the credentials to start teaching. I have experience working with children. I've worked in two different daycares as an assistant with ages 3 months-4 years old. I've also worked at a church preschool in the 2 year old classroom as a preschool assistant.

I'm really excited because I know this is what I want to do, but I'm also very nervous. I have never been the lead teacher in a preschool setting, I've always been an assistant in all my previous jobs. My biggest struggle is that I am shy (not so much around kids), but with whomever I will be working with and the parents. Also, its hard for me to gain control of children because I'm not that good at disciplining and they tend to not listen to me. I think that is because I look young (even younger than I am) and I have a quiet sweet tone of voice.

What should I expect going into this field and what can I do to make sure I do well as a first time preschool teacher?

Thank you! :)

3 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Relationship with families is important.

    Greet every family, every day. Get in the habit of telling each family member something that their child enjoyed that day when they come to pick up. For example, "Ava had so much fun making playdough cupcakes this morning!" or "Ask Samuel to tell you about the toad he found on the playground!"

    This helps parents know that you see the good in their child. With daily, positive communication, if there ever is a challenge - like a suspected developmental delay or a serious behavior problem - it will be much easier to address it.

    You are an articulate writer. Consider a blog, newsletter, or email updates as another way to connect with families.

    Co-workers will need you to communicate clearly. As a lead teacher, you may need to tell an assistant or floater what to do to ensure that children are safe. Use a matter-of-fact tone that includes the reason why something is important. For example, "It's a regulation that we must clean the classroom tables before we serve snack. Would you rather sing some songs with the kids while I spray the tables, or would you rather do the tables while I sing?" or "It looks like our friends on the climber need some help. Stay here and supervise the tricycles while I go take care of that, please."

    With kids, be proactive as much as you can. Many behavior problems can be eliminated by having a smooth schedule, having materials ready ahead of time, having enough space to avoid crowding, having enough toys to avoid fighting, etc.

    Communicate with kids in a confident, matter-of-fact tone and be very specific. Instead of saying vague things like "Be nice" or "Make good choices", say things like, "Show me how you can turn the pages of the book gently." or "Climbing on the playhouse isn't safe. Put your feet on the ground. Now - you may go climb on the climb, or play inside the playhouse."

    Say what you mean and mean what you say - don't waver or give up if a child doesn't comply. Take a deep breath and stick with it confidently. If you're uncertain and wishy-washy, the kids won't feel safe and behavior will escalate. With that said, you can be a quiet teacher and still a very effective teacher; you don't ever have to yell or be harsh to be good at what you do. Think of your children with challenging behaviors as children who lack some of the tools they need to be successful. Don't take their behavior personally, but think of how you can help each one learn better (more appropriate) ways to get attention, have needs met, interact with peers, etc. A child with very challenging behavior is a child who especially needs you.

    There are several excellent preschool guidance programs out there. Conscious Discipline is a good pick. Also look for a relationship with a mentor teacher who has a similar style and demeanor to your own. Ask this person to share how they would handle situations and observe them in action as much as possible.

    Best of luck to you! You're working with children during one of the most exciting, interesting, and challenging stages of development. The great experiences that you give them will have a long-lasting, positive influence on everything else to come!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    First, you are going to have to learn to be more assertive. Children, even very young children know when they can take advantage of someone.

    I'm a teacher and never had a problem with discipline. That's because my students knew what to expect and knew what would and wouldn't be tolerated. This isn't easy with infants but toddlers sure can learn right from wrong. If you let them get away with things without consequences, it will continue. Stick to your rules and keep them simple. I had 2 in my classroom: 1. We are safe 2. We are respectful.

    You may think that's difficult for littles to understand but you will be surprised. And you can do this while maintaining your calm demeanor. YOU are in charge, not the kiddos. Good luck.

  • 5 years ago

    You just have to be assertive with the children I am 24 and I worked with kids in every job I have done so far this year is just my first year teaching preschool. If I do have a Coeteacher with many years of experience so that does make it easier. The director told my Coeteacher that she hired me because of my ability to work with the kids my ability to work with and talk to the parents because 99% of the time you will be with the kids dealing with parents is just a part of the job and as time goes by you will learn how to deal with that and make it easier. Message me if you need any help or anything because I find it easier to talk to someone who is in your shoes exactly.

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