Top 10 Reasons It’s Great to be an Early Childhood Teacher

Apr 14, 2016

Early childhood teachers get to laugh daily, collaborate with great professionals, play with kids and watch their faces light up as they learn through activities that you've planned and created.  Here's a fun list of the top 10 reasons you have a great job...

10.  “Dressing for Success” means hair in a ponytail, comfy shoes and a bright smile on your face.

Dressing comfortably for work is really important for early childhood teachers. Dressing to sit on the floor, navigate the playground, change diapers, help with toileting, clean your classroom and still look professional as you meet parents and other visitors to the school means taking time to think through what you wear to work.  Many schools address this by providing staff t-shirts or aprons for you to wear.  Create a wardrobe that works for your workplace, minimizing the daily drudge of “what am I going to wear today...”  – and don’t forget that smile! 

9.  You can make friends with most any child, anywhere.

Do you find that children are drawn to you everywhere you go?  I think they can sense ‘kid people’ and seek them out in a crowd.  You know what to say, how to ask questions to get them talking about what they’re interested in and you appreciate them – that’s what they need from people in this world!  A genuine smile or wink to a child in a crowd communicates that things are okay, there are people who care.  That’s what children need to know. 

8.  You can make great learning activities from other peoples’ throwaways.

Teachers are notorious for not throwing anything away!  Using the blank side of paper in the recycle bin to create tablets for children to write on, making creatures from empty tissue boxes, binoculars from toilet paper rolls, creating a stovetop from a discarded nightstand, even using dryer lint to make paper – these are just a few of the ways you can turn trash to treasure. 

7.  Parents think you’re awesome; “I could NEVER do what you do!”

I’m sure you’ve heard it many times from parents, especially if they happen in on your class during a moment of busy chaos!  Take a moment each morning to greet parents and children as they arrive.  This let’s them know that you are there to support them, and answer any questions they have or just listen to a concern or happy occasion that happed the night before.

 6.  After year 1, you have an immune system of steel – and rarely get sick.

 After 30+ years of working with children, I can tell you that I rarely catch anything!  That’s after a year or so of catching every bug that walked in the door.  Taking good care of yourself – eating right, getting plenty of rest, exercising and finding time each day to be quiet and reflective – will do wonders for your health and stamina.  

5.  You can exercise at work by running around on the playground with kids.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  “Maybe the younger teachers can do that, but not me!” or “Our school has a policy against that!”  Perhaps so.  But what I’m talking about is participating in play with children, by playing games like ring around the rosie or duck, duck, goose.  Dancing to music.  Drawing a hopscotch on the sidewalk and taking a turn yourself.  Chasing bubbles.  Pretending to let children knock you over as they swing on the swing. In other words, being playful, engaged and purposeful with your time outdoors.  And watch how happy it makes the kids :)

4.  You don’t have to worry about all those fancy ways to avoid paying high taxes because you make too much money.

 'Nuff said.  We are not in a high paying profession. But the intangible rewards make us RICH!  Most early childhood people I know are pretty smart about finding ways to make a little extra income so they can continue to do what they love each day. 

3.  Kids love you. They really, really love you.  And give you gifts.

No doubt you’ve got a folder full of artwork and jars full of spring flowers that children have given you.  They love to give gifts to those they love.  And they do love their teachers!  Ask any child you meet about their teacher and they will give you ALL the details, usually ending with “(s)he’s the best!”

2.  You get to bring your own kids to work with you.

Not an automatic given in every situation, but very common with the teachers I’ve worked with over the years.  Knowing your baby is nearby is one of the perks of working in child care!   I grew up around childcare myself as my mom was the director of the day care at our church.  I loved going to work with her and she loved having me there…  That experience shaped my career decisions and I followed her footsteps into early childhood education.  Maybe your children will do the same - mine did, check it out! :)  NurturedNoggins 

1. You make a difference in this world!

You are not “babysitters.”  Real teaching and learning occurs every day in your classrooms. You get children excited about learning. You open hearts and minds, and teach parents how to effectively communicate with their children.  You help lay the foundation for the future and you make a difference in this world!  Yay you!!

Click here to print this list for your bulletin board!

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