Top five unprofessional behaviors preschool teachers should avoid

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on October 25, 2009

in On becoming a Professional

Preschool teachers come into contact with parents on a daily basis and professional behaviors make the difference between good teachers and exceptional teachers. This article will take a look at behaviors that should always be avoided by preschool teachers.

Unprofessional behaviors

Unprofessional behavior can impact the respect and welfare of children, parents, peers, co-workers, and administrators. Some unprofessional behaviors include:

Gossip – gossiping about children, parents, or other teachers is at the top of the list because it is one of the most destructive behaviors in the preschool environment. Talking about such topics as who is dating who, who is getting a divorce, which child behaves badly, which teacher is always late, what parent never pays on time, and so forth is gossip. It is not unusual for parents and co-workers to want to know the scoop but a professional teacher always respects the privacy of others.

Labeling – labeling children or parents can cause considerable damage to a child’s future in education and can be quite hurtful to parents. Labeling is essentially making the non-clinical assumptions about a child’s development. For example, you might be thinking that a child in your class is overly active and begin to tell other teachers that the child is hyper. If the label “hyper” sticks, then others will begin to assume that this child has a problem.

Seriously avoid labeling. Common labels can include: lazy, slow, hyper, mean, disruptive, challenging, and so on. If you have a concern about a child’s development, discuss it with the parent in a respectful manner but steer away from ever labeling a child. Labels can last a lifetime.

Complaining to parents

Never, ever complain to parents about your personal life, your health, your coworkers, your employers, your students, and the other parents in your class. There will be parents that show a genuine interest in these things and you might think “what harm does it do?” Your complaints make parents unsure in your ability and less confident that their child will be okay. Parents need to leave feeling that their child is in a safe, loving, secure environment. Complaining undermines their confidence that this is always true.

Excessive Absenteeism

Preschool students build important bonds with their teachers and rely on their teachers to be present. When teachers call in and miss work, it impacts every student in the classroom as well as parents, other staff, and school administrators. Everyone has to make adjustments because the children will still be there even when your not.

Preschoolers learn best when they are in an environment where they feel loved, secure, safe, and respected. The child’s bond with his or her preschool teacher plays a critical role in achieving these feelings. Excessive absenteeism is a huge disruption to a successful learning environment.

Sloppy Handwriting and Misspelled Words

Preschool teachers play many roles but they are most certainly educators. As educators, it is incredibly important for teachers to double check all written communication for spelling and all handwritten communication for neatness.

Check for spelling on every memo, chart, daily report, lesson plan, bulletin board display, email, blog post, and facebook post. Get in the habit of spelling correctly and when in doubt about how to spell a word – then look it up.

Make sure best handwriting practices are used for all preschool related communications. Don’t scribble a child’s name on the paper, print it clearly and neatly. Make sure handwritten reports can be read by taking the time to write neatly. Use good grammer and sentence structure. Avoid slang terminology and texting type language such as darn, ain’t, lol, luv, and so on.

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Copyright ©2009 Deborah J. Stewart; All Rights Reserved!

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