How to be a successful Preschool teacher?
I was so excited when I first visited a pre-kindergarten classroom and when I saw the colourful charts and the resource materials hanging all around the wall. “Awesome” was the word I muttered spontaneously. Children were all looking at the colourful atmosphere. I saw the bulletin board also with a theme and decorated well by the teachers. I was applauding them for their creative work.
However, for all this I understood that the teachers did have a herculean task to make the things possible and the effort behind it was to be appreciated. Then I thought about what else is required in running a smooth classroom. I understood that not only a strong curriculum, a good daily plan and a sensible list of classroom rules, but a bit of tips and tricks in handling the kids will help a teacher in preparing them to manage their classroom effectively. It is true that engaging preschoolers is too tough, but if the teachers adopt some of the mentioned below then her classroom will be at ease.
1. Let us be extremely prepared: A teacher has to prepare and plan sufficiently. The items we use for that particular lesson plan must be prepared well and know the contents completely and the methodology or approach in teaching has to be planned and the resource materials required for executing the lesson plan must be planned and kept ready. One more important thing is the teacher should never sit and read a lesson to a preschooler as they will not get engaged, and their mind will wander soon.
2. Let us always use a consistent attention getting cue: As a teacher, we have to train the class kids and use a cue or signal which they are prepared to listen. It can be counting one to five or clapping in a pattern or repeating the words like hands up and hands down. Preschoolers can be trained easily, but it should be consistent. Every time, we do it should be the same to enable the kids to establish cues and children of this age like routine and this will help you to complete your lesson much more smoothly.
3. Let us teach with total enthusiasm: If one gets into a preschool, one can find there are no monotone voices. Teachers are all excited and their voices should be an inspiration to children and you can see them also jumping with excitement. If we are reading a story read the story for kids with all enthusiasm and this will make the story alive for the kids.
4. Let us involve the children: When we involve the kids, they remember the events or fact or a story for a long time. Involve your kids and teach them to make appropriate sound effects and repeat the key phrases and allow them to relate to the story or rhyme or anything you intend to teach them. Let us do lots of repetition, as the more you do it will be better. The more the kids are involved they will give you less trouble and they will associate themselves with what you teach and it will stick to their heart.
5. Let us keep it short and use a lot of variety: The attention span of a child is very less and basically they can focus on one topic for not more than ten to fifteen minutes. Normally a kindergarten child can focus for fifteen minutes. So, our lesson plans must be short and varied and have lots of fun element in it. As a teacher, she should be able to hold on to the topic very clearly and know what to deliver in that time.
6. Let us give children a role to play: The teacher should give roles for kids to play and make them participate holding a prop or picture. Children, especially preschoolers need a bit of extra attention and the teachers should sense it and act accordingly with lots of patience.
Now, I could say to myself that these tips and tricks if implemented properly, a teacher can be successful and also have a stress free life.
- An article by Dr.Vatsala Iyengar, Program Coordinator, Preschool Teachers Training Institute