Early Childhood Educators are in demand because they’re integral to the well-being and development of children. Many myths exist surrounding what they do and we’re here to tell you a few things you might not have known about the field.
Early Childhood Educator Sarah McCarthy has been teaching at Sprott Shaw College for the past four years, and taught pre-school for six years before that. Vancity Buzz spoke with her to find out the top five things you may not have known about this exciting career.
To learn more about Sprott Shaw’s Early Childhood Education Program, click here.
1. They are highly educated
Many people think Early Childhood Educators just have to do a quick little course and that’s it. “Far from it,” said McCarthy. She said many of the students in her class already have prior education, and the program itself isn’t just a quick, simple class.
“Sometimes people think if you work with children, you’re uneducated, and you just basically play with blocks all day, and it’s just very untrue,” said McCarthy.
And in the course at Sprott Shaw, she said you can expect to learn about psychology among other things. At the end of the day, it’s all about having a passion for teaching children, no matter your educational background.
2. It’s more than just a career
Most Early Childhood Educators are always thinking of ways to enhance classroom learning, even outside of regular work hours, said McCarthy. She said many aspects of their lives are inadvertently dedicated to keeping the children happy and full of knowledge.
“You’re always making things in the evening, like lesson plans, or researching, or reading articles, or new ways of teaching. And I’m always doing workshops,” she said.
Even going for a walk can be inspiration for new classroom tools to teach children about nature.
3. Life experiences are the best teaching tools
Whatever experiences you’ve had in life can only enhance your ability to teach. Whether you’ve travelled the world, had a unique upbringing, or a unique life in general, your individual outlook can make a great teaching tool.
“Every place that I travelled in Europe, I’d collect postcards and items that were famous to those cities, any story books, and when I came home, I created little boxes with different countries to show them different things from different countries,” said McCarthy.
4. People underestimate the importance of ECE’s
McCarthy stresses that Early Childhood Educators aren’t babysitters – they are truly educators who work hard to be able to aid in the development of small children.
“Even with all the hard work we do and knowing how precious those years are – any research you pick up tells of the importance of zero to six years as the most important time for children,” she said.
“The job is fun because you’re actually able to form these people, these children.”
She said she wants to change perceptions of ECE’s so that society at large can see the importance of their role and how integral they are to the early rearing of a child.
5. Early Childhood Educators love what they do
ECE’s know the important role they play to a child and the impact they have in people’s lives; as a result, they love what they do. McCarthy said working as an Early Childhood Educator allows you to learn more about yourself.
“Through the course at Sprott Shaw, they learn the importance of those early years, and why they are the way they are. They learn a lot about themselves in this course.”
And when you start to work, it’s never boring.
“No day is the same. Ever.”