I have always thought that being an early childhood educator is the most rewarding and heartwarming job because you get to see young kids grow and achieve their little milestones. This morning, I sat in for an English class at a neighbourhood preschool center as I wanted to gain more insights on what it’s really like to be a preschool teacher.
*Note: I didn’t get to take a lot of photos of videos without an official permit.
There is no fixed process or steps when it comes to teaching a group of 6-year-olds. While the teachers have a lesson plan that they have to follow everyday, they usually have to be on the ball and ready to respond to the unpredictable needs of the kids. During the English lesson, the kids became a bit rowdy and they started to ask a lot of questions at the same time. Since the teachers need to face similar situations like this everyday, they need to be able to multi-task and learn to give her attention to more than 15 children at once.
- Portable whiteboard
- Magnetic whiteboard – for writing or attaching pictures/ news articles to facilitate the lesson
- Stationery basket – contains whiteboard markers of different colours and magnets
- Tissue box – to clean up after the children
Evaluation of tools used
In my opinion, the stationery basket is a little inconvenient because it has no handles for the teacher to grab on to. In addition, the basket has no lid, thus increasing the risk of all the stationery falling out of the basket if the teacher does not hold it properly. Furthermore, although other tools like whiteboard markers, duster and tissue box are placed near to the teacher, she still has to look around for them whenever she needs them, while paying attention to the kids at the same time.
The classroom is generally organised as everything is packed neatly in the shelves. The kids’ bags and water bottles are also placed nicely in the cubby holes provided. However, since everything is placed in different shelves, whenever the teacher needs something other than the tools stated above, she would need to walk to the shelves to take it.
Apart from sitting in for the class, I was also given the wonderful opportunity to conduct a short lesson. Since I’m not a professionally-trained preschool teacher, I could only conduct a drawing lesson. Also, since I was not familiar with where everything was kept, I had to ask the teachers and this made the process slightly more time consuming.
In my opinion, since the kids can be rather unpredictable, it is better for the teachers to have a portable toolbox, or a wearable kit, with all the tools that they need. This way, the teachers can spend less time searching for the things they need and they can pay more attention to the kids around them.