Let’s put a positive spin on professional behavior in early childhood education. Why worry about professional behavior? Professionalism brings about respect, trust, and credibility. Your parents, coworkers, and students will all benefit from your ability to carry yourself in a professional manner.
Here are the top five professional behaviors to practice in your preschool program.
1. Do communicate respectfully and consistently with your parents. Preschool parents rely on teachers to not only care for and educate their children, they also need their feedback and support. Communicate with parents through a variety of ways such as neatly writing daily reports, sending out memos, posting daily lesson plans, holding parent/teacher conferences, hosting parent nights and other special events.
2. Do plan and prepare for your class. This includes making sure lesson plans are completed and supplies are gathered before class begins each day. When preschool teachers are prepared, they are more able to handle the curves thrown at them throughout each day. When preschool teachers are prepared, they are also able to focus on the needs of their students more fully.
3. Do dress professionally. This does not mean you need to wear high heels or a suit and tie. What this does mean is to dress in a manner that reflects your seriousness about education and being a great teacher. Take care of yourself and select clothing that compliments your professional goals.
4. Do care about the setup and cleanliness of your classroom environment. Your classroom is a reflection of you and impacts the needs and education of your students. Be creative, neat, clean, and organized. Display children’s artwork in attractive and eye-catching places. Make sure toys are not broken and shelves are not cluttered. A great learning environment takes commitment and is a sign of a true professional.
5. Do invest time in professional development training, courses, conferences, research, and networking. Spend time looking on the internet for new ideas or talking to other teachers about their great ideas. Attend local and national conferences when able. Your time in personal growth as an early childhood educator will be a huge benefit to yourself, your parents, your coworkers, and especially – your preschoolers.
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