Early childhood development is decisive for the life of children. Thus, the role of an early childhood educator is a great responsibility. Choosing early childhood education as a career, a person should be aware of diverse challenges, the necessity of constant change, and be ready to develop as a professional. As an educator, I acknowledge that the first eight years of a child’s life are crucial because, during this period, children can be influenced most beneficially. I believe that one of the primary teacher’s goals is to develop curiosity and the desire to learn. In fact, an educator should teach a child to learn and give the tools that will be used in future life.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that the role of an early childhood educator is crucial for the development of future generations (Follari, 2015). However, the role of the educator is multidimensional. Follari (2015) claims that an early childhood educator is a “teacher, researcher, lifelong learner, caregiver, family and child advocate, provocateur (provoking children’s thinking), playmate, and many others” (p. 1). The current paper analyzes some roles of an early childhood educator in the context of the cognitive-based philosophy with a focus on cooperation with family, creation of a learning environment, and professional development of an educator.
Ways to Support Families
One of the roles performed by an educator is keeping in touch with families of children from the class because, at this time, family support is very important for a new learner. Communication with the family is crucial. An educator should not only work with children but also has to emphasize the significance of early childhood education to a family and let them know that a child needs their support (Farquhar & White, 2013). It is necessary to explain parents or other influential adults that the early childhood period determines further learning of children. Thus, early developmental interventions can be introduced. An educator can inform parents about community programs for children or about activities at school. Finally, it is essential to explain that young learners benefit from parent participation in their school life, and the task of an educator is to make the cooperation of a child, parents, and school as productive as possible.
A Perfect Childhood Learning Environment
As a supporter of cognitive-based philosophy in early childhood education, I believe that the learning environment should provide opportunities for cognition. It is crucial to develop curiosity and a desire to explore the surrounding world. Moreover, the cognitive learning environment develops problem-solving skills and creates a supportive, warm, and respectful atmosphere. These aspects of the learning environment are also important in the context of Michigan child care matters (2017). Thus, the state of Michigan focuses on the concepts of persistence, problem-solving, independence, and managing emotions that should be brought up in children to prepare them for further learning and life on the whole (“Michigan child care matters,” 2017). I believe that effective learning can be provided in case the combination of learning styles is applied. For example, some children demonstrate better results with visual style while others prefer the verbal style. Still, it is important to use all styles in early childhood educations, such as visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary to introduce these styles and observe their effectiveness. Moreover, the use of different styles of learning can be favorable for the development of multiple intelligences.
Professional Development Opportunities
It is evident that an early childhood educator should continuously be developing, both as a person and as a professional. One of the necessary interventions a teacher needs is reading. It comprises reading a textbook to refresh material before that class or reviewing recent research publications to be aware of discoveries in the field of early education (Follari, 2015). However, professional development is not limited to the knowledge of subjects or child psychology. Every educator should be a researcher. First of all, it is necessary to investigate the classroom, provide careful observations of every young learner, and thus find the best suitable approach to a child to develop his or her potential. I also believe that continuous education is necessary for an educator. In the times of rapidly developing technology, there are broad opportunities for educators such as online workshops, conferences, or professional courses. Moreover, technology provides access to diverse information that can be used during preparation for classes.
To conclude, it should be mentioned that a teacher does not perform any educational goal. The early childhood educator becomes a meaningful adult for the young learners, sometimes even more important than parents. Consequently, the educator should provide an excellent ethical example. The educator should be aware that young children are extremely vulnerable and that their words and actions can have a significant impact on both children and their families. Thus, being a worthy person and a good example for young students is one of my career goals. It means that in addition to profound knowledge and professional skills I should demonstrate ethical behavior and be able to develop the best qualities in my students.
Farquhar, S., & White, E. (2013). Philosophy and pedagogy of early childhood. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 46(8), 821-832. Web.
Follari, L. (2015). Foundations and best practices in early childhood education. History, theories, and approaches to learning. Hoboken, NJ: Pearson.
Michigan child care matters. (2017). Web.