Teaching, which allows one to nurture a child’s development, can be a rewarding experience, specifically for a kindergarten teacher who plays a significant role in shaping early childhood. Despite the fun and a sense of fulfilment, teaching nursery can be immensely challenging. 

Working with the youngest learners requires pre-primary teachers to take on many different roles daily. However, at the same time, they need to constantly evaluate the young learners to ensure the development of necessary skills for primary school. All this while maintaining high levels of energy and enthusiasm. In short, pre-primary teaching is not for the faint-hearted. 

As the number of private institutions offering a variety of preschool curricula and approaches has gone up over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in offline and online jobs for preschool teachers. Along with this rising demand, one also witnesses a better understanding amongst the parent community of the importance and impact of early childhood education. As a result, there is a recognition that the role of a playschool teacher is much more than it is just a job or a degree in early childhood education. The preschool teacher’s qualities and skills play a huge role and impact a child’s formative years.

Essential Qualities of a Preschool Teacher: 

As the nature of early childhood education is very different from teaching subsequent grades, there are some characteristics a preschool teacher must possess to work with preschoolers. It does take a particular type of individual to spend the whole day with very young children. Here are some of the qualities of great early childhood educators:

1. Plenty of Patience: nurturing several preschoolers with different personalities requires a lot of patience. With a class of very young learners with varying developmental skills, patience is critical for pre-primary teachers to maintain a welcoming and balanced classroom environment. Being mindful of each child’s abilities and moods, the preschool teacher patiently engages the preschooler in learning. With a relaxed attitude and a dash of humour towards all pressure, a preschool teacher models patience as positive behaviour among preschoolers from an early age.

2. Observant: an essential quality of great early childhood educators in their ability to observe every child under their care. Direct engagement and attention toward every preschooler is critical. It helps the teacher know how each child thinks, behaves, and interacts in their class.

3. Organised: as preschoolers need structure, a pre-primary teacher needs to be thoughtful and organised. Having a well-planned learning structure makes the young ones less anxious, allowing them to engage more. Being organised also helps preschool teachers manage a constantly changing classroom environment while responding to the diverse needs of their students.

4. Adaptability: preschoolers are at an age where they are slowly developing their personalities and learning to navigate the world around them. As a result, this may throw up many unpredictable situations that a preschool teacher has to handle. A preschool teacher juggles many different roles- from being a storyteller and playmate to sorting out differences between young learners. The preschool teacher needs to have a plan in place, but at the same time be prepared and adapt to the constantly changing environment. This flexibility allows them to shift gears and choose the best way forward based on the preschooler’s needs. Such open-mindedness enables the child to explore their interests and emotions fearlessly, instilling a lifelong love for learning.

5. Creativity & Innovation: preschoolers tend to have a short attention span. Hence a pre-primary teacher needs to be creative and find innovative ways to keep the young ones constantly engaged. While keeping them engaged creatively, it is equally important for the preschool teacher to be mindful that each child has different learning skills. Thus, the innovative methods that a teacher teaching nursery adopts should be inclusive, celebrate uniqueness, and encourage independent thinking while instilling curiosity in preschoolers.

6. High on Energy: the level of enthusiasm of a preschool teacher should be on par with the energy a preschooler brings to the classroom. The teacher breathes life into every session through fun games, activities, songs and dance that keep the young ones entertained and engaged. One must ensure an atmosphere where every preschooler participates actively in the activities, and no child feels left behind.

7. Emotional Maturity: though learning through play and having fun is critical to early childhood education, a preschool teacher must be mindful of the child’s abilities. Aware of a preschooler’s limits, a good kindergarten teacher comes up with realistic ways that suit the child appropriately to overcome struggles rather than ignore them.

8. Good Communication Skills: strong listening skills and the ability to articulate in ways preschoolers understand are crucial skills for teachers teaching nursery. Their body language, a non-verbal communication, is also critical as preschoolers can be very good at picking up such cues. It is equally essential that the teacher gauges a child’s body language to understand their thoughts and emotions. Face to face communication with a preschooler at their level creates a sense of trust and respect between the preschooler and teacher.

9. Empathy: getting acquainted with their emotions can be an overwhelming experience for preschoolers. By creating an environment that allows them to express themselves openly, an empathetic preschool teacher helps the preschooler to navigate these new emotions with confidence. Working with compassion, a kindergarten teacher understands their preschoolers’ varying moods and behaviours. It enables them to respond calmly with empathy to all struggles rather than react with anger. Interacting tenderly and warmly with preschoolers ensures their trust and attention. When children feel loved and safe, the learning experience becomes more joyful.

10. Dedication: a preschool teacher who puts their best foot forward every day to make the classroom a fun learning space, despite the challenges they may face, is bound to inspire children to learn more. With such dedication, they would be able to go the extra mile to bring out the best in their preschooler while instilling a spirit of inquiry.

One can learn the ways to create and effectively teach a preschool curriculum. However, what makes pre-primary teachers stand out is their passion. When it comes straight from the heart, they will discover new ways to reach and connect with the preschoolers, even on challenging days. A compassionate kindergarten teacher recognises that their preschoolers are still children. Each day brings the excitement of new opportunities to nurture little ones. 

Through their child-centric content, the Kutuki early learning platform takes preschoolers on a different learning journey- one that is fun, creative, and personalised. Over the years, Kutuki has rendered constant support to preschoolers in over 2700+ cities through its interactive app, online preschool programs, and standalone mini-programs that focus specifically on Phonics, Math, or Reading skills. With the platform now accessible to more kids across the country, the Kutuki team is looking for passionate Phonics teachers who can deliver its contextualised content available in 9 Indian languages.

If you resonate with the traits mentioned above, are passionate and would like to work with a team that’s committed to early childhood education, please write to hiral@kutuki.in.