If you love kids, it’s natural to explore careers where your job would allow you to interact with them on a daily basis. As a classroom assistant or preschool teacher, you’d be at the center of young lives, helping little children develop important skills as they move toward their potential. It’s a rewarding career that comes with its own unique challenges. Do you think you’re up for the job? Here’s some of what you’ll want to know about working with children:
Challenge: No Two Children Are Really Alike
Of course they aren’t! And while that can be fun and exciting, it also means that you need to approach each child as the individual s/he is. What works really well on one kiddo may have no effect at all on another. For example, when it comes to naptime, Janey may snuggle up with a blanket and favorite doll and head off to dream land in a snap. But Johnny my need some serious slow down before he’s ready to transition to quiet time. What tricks can you use to get them both to take a break?
Reward: You’ll See the World in a Whole New Way
Regardless of how old you are, when you take a moment to see the world through the eyes of a child, you’ll get an entirely new perspective. And that’s pretty awesome! Watch a child check out a new toy or accomplish a simple task for the very first time and you’ll get to share in their happiness and pride—and know you probably had something to do with it. And while the rest of the world may seem old and jaded, when you’re working with kids, just about everything is new and exciting.
Challenge: You Need a lot of Patience and Understanding
While consistency is an important component to successfully teaching young children, your best plans can fall away when a tantrum disrupts the entire class. Or what happens when the kids in your care forget to use their words instead of their hands and a sharing dispute turns bad? You’ll need to remain calm and in charge, always remembering that even bad behavior can be a teachable moment when you address it in the right way.
Reward: Smiles and hugs!
In many cases, you will become one of the most important people in the lives of the children you take care of. That’s a lot of responsibility but it means that you’ll be surrounded by adorable little people who all think you’re amazing. In the classroom, you’ll be amply rewarded with smiles and giggles and hugs. Moms and dads will also come to appreciate all you do. After all, they’re trusting you with the most precious thing they have: their children!
If you think you have what it takes to work with children every day, check out the Child Care Assistant Program at Career Quest Learning Centers. We’ll teach you how to overcome the challenges of the work and excel at your job. Our Child Care Assistant Program is currently available at our Jackson campus. Fill out the form and we’ll answer any questions you may have.