Early Childhood Care & Education: Importance of teachers’ training

Education has always been an influential activity in any society and it is considered as an indispensable instrument for bringing positive change in the social, political, economic and cultural life of people. The whole process is shaped by many important agents and the teacher is one of them. The teacher is supposed to play a central role in education. Teacher is a crucial and integral part of any education system and acts like a catalyst in the development and growth of the students.

The training for the teachers must be such that it makes the lives of students easier and learning effective which we do not see often. Teaching is an important process, but teacher is the fundamental element in this process and it is always the method which determines the output of the system.

Teacher learning or training is a continuous never-ending process which promotes teacher’s teaching skills, master novel knowledge; develop better or newer proficiency, which in return assists in improving student’s learning.

Understanding Teachers’ Training

Teacher training is an important aspect for the teachers’ careers because of many reasons. Firstly, someone who is a fresher and comes to teach for the first time might not be very confident to command a certain set of students. He or she might have a vast amount of knowledge about their particular subject(s) but sometimes what the fresher or in rare cases, the experienced ones lack in the art of expressing themselves. If a teacher can’t explain or convey what they know to a student or unable to convince the student, then he/she would be considered failed as a teacher. The students will slowly lose their interest from that particular class and subject and overall rather than being a positive asset of the students’ life, the fresher teacher will become the exact opposite.

Secondly, teaching is not only about giving long lectures or notes or homework. Teaching is so much more than that. Training for the teachers is also important for them to have effective class management skills. If a teacher is in the classroom, the students must be quiet and paying attention to whatever the teacher is talking about, even if it is a school notice, the hundred percent attention of the students must be on the teacher. The atmosphere created by such encourages students dive deeper into the topics. Although, if a teacher fails to achieve such an atmosphere it might result into just opposite of a productive classroom atmosphere.

The teacher training is not something which is only necessary after the recruitment of a teacher in any institution. Teaching is all about learning, which is an infinite and continuous process. The training of teachers must go on from time to time in between their jobs, to initiate them in newer technologies so that they can model that out for the students. Sometimes, using the same teaching strategy for so long might make a pattern which does not really interest the students and might make the lessons boring.

Training sessions are needed to help the teachers learn or create new teaching strategies which will bring back the interest of their students in the classrooms and encourage learning. Another aspect that must be taken into consideration is the application of the topics the students learn in their lessons. The teachers also need to figure out ways for applicable learning, which actually helps the students in real world because theoretical learning will help them in getting good marks in exams but practical learning will help them in life.

Programs of teachers’ training and professional development are of central importance in any educational institution, be it in the primary, middle school, high school or even the university level. Teachers at all levels need to be trained in their related fields and subject matter on a regular basis if they are to change their teaching beliefs, attitudes and daily life practices in classrooms. Such programs will help teachers sharpen their teaching skills and deepen and improve their knowledge in the subject matter they teach, and hence improve students’ learning and schools education. For positive and beneficial change to take place, there should be an alignment between the curriculum and teachers’ actual experiences in teaching. Another important point is related to the time that teachers spend on professional development and its efficiency. Teachers will benefit better from professional development that has as its main focus activities which focus on high-quality-subject-matter content.

Professional development can be a great vehicle for teaching improvement and learning success if it is prepared and given by experts and on a regular basis to meet the needs of teachers. Teachers will always be learners and learning is an ongoing process and knowledge has no reachable limits. Besides that, teachers’ learning is no longer seen as being straightforward whereby teachers just meet and be presented with information about effective teaching strategies. Teachers’ learning process is more complex than is perceived and needs continuous reflection and evaluation if we aspire to achieve improvement and change.

Effectiveness

Today’s teaching calls for shift from traditional rote style and lecture style of teaching to the type of teaching that fosters critical and reflective thinking and developing problems- solving skills in students. To meet the needs of students and the great demands in the profession of teaching, teachers have to be trained in the use of the different, old and new, approaches to teaching and assessment. That is to say, for educational reforms to take place and be of great benefit, effective professional development should also take place. On the basis of that, nowadays educational reforms urge teachers to foster collaboration, debate and make students learn with reflection to help them develop the necessary cognitive skills and processes to meet the standards of learning and education.

The Early childhood Education

Early childhood describes the period of time between a child’s birth and the age of eight. However, Early childhood education is typically refers to the teaching of children between infancy and kindergarten age, which are the most important years of a child’s life. It is when they first learn how to interact with others, create emotional connections and starts learning to develop interests, which often stay with them throughout their lives. However, there is a common misconception that early childhood education is only about learning basic skills. In fact, it is the time when children learn critical social and emotional skills and a partnership is formed between the child, their parents and the teacher. When this is done successfully, it lays the groundwork for it to continue throughout the child’s education.”

As per UNESCO’s defined “Early childhood Care & Education (ECCE)” more than just preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.

Researchers looked at ECCE from general social benefits to specific STEM learning outcomes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and also try to measure its lasting impact on children.

But it is equally important that the teachers involved in ECCE must understand their students and each of their specific interests. Their relationship influence the students’ day to day learning and build trust between them. Also the parental involvement play very important role in this relationship-building process. The coordination between teachers and parents impacts long lasting effects throughout child’s life.

It is utmost important that people who really enjoys working with children and wants to make a lasting impact on their lives should make a career in early childhood education. As it not only the phenomena of helping children to learn but also this field provides lots of opportunities for teachers to develop leadership skills and to become a reflective practitioner.

Education is a learning cycle without an end. It is not going to stop after graduation and starting a career. Continuing education helps career-minded individuals to continually improve their skills and become more professional at their work. It is particularly important for school administrators in the field of primary and secondary education management to enable professional development for teachers, not only to give their students the best learning results but also to be more effective and fulfilled throughout various other aspects of their job.

Better Learning Outcomes

Professional development for teachers turns teachers into stronger and more fitting teachers by allowing them to produce useful and personalized lessons for the students today. Research has shown that as a result of student achievement will increase by as much as 21% points as a result of professional development for teachers. Professionalism in teacher education is the dire need of the hour. Knowledge and experience alone are not enough for teachers in their entire careers to supporting them.

Through discovering new teaching strategies through professional development for teachers, educators can go back to the classroom and make changes to their teaching styles and curricula to better suit their students ‘ needs. Nonetheless, these improvements are difficult to assess, as they are usually introduced slowly. Through introducing educators to new delivery techniques, assessment styles, and record-keeping approaches, professional development for teachers makes them more effective in their presentations and course assessments.

Challenges for Early Childhood Education Teachers

One of the biggest challenges teachers face is finding the right balance between working one-on-one with children and managing the larger group as a whole. Teachers could be really focused on learning what a child’s specific interests and needs are. Also figuring out how to apply and implement classroom standards can also be an issue for new teachers.

In order to get the best outcomes in early childhood education, teachers should tries to put students’ natural curiosities into lesson plans. Teachers can take the topics or subject areas that fascinate individual students and expand on it through in-class or at-home activities. Targeting these areas can help students develop critical thinking skills, allowing them to give more complex answers.

Early Childhood Education as a career

Early childhood education is a wide and varied career path. If a teacher enjoys working with children and are willing to put in the work necessary to earn your degree, Alvarado believes you will find it rewarding.

Educators’ competences, knowledge and attitudes need to respond to all children’s needs. It may sound trivial to say that early childhood educators need to be selected and prepared appropriately. In fact, this is often not the case, especially in low-resource settings, where early childhood educators without specialized knowledge are often left to their own devices. Particular attention is needed to help educators manage their relationships with parents and guardians, to ensure their maximum engagement. They also need advice to seek out expert support but also to improve their capacity to arrange their classroom environments, adapt their pedagogical strategies and implement individualized education plans.

The author, Uffaq Fatima, is an educationist. Currently she is associated with Education Trust Nasra School as Coordinating Officer. She could be reached at [email protected]

Check Also

Seaports as a Drivers for ‘Blue Growth’

Seaports as a Drivers for ‘Blue Growth’

The port, as an infrastructure of maritime services has evolved its functions over the years …

Leave a Reply