What You Should Know About The Teaching Community

Daycare, preschool, and kindergarten teachers are integral in young children and families’ lives. Their influence extends far beyond the classroom. They hold the key to unlocking a child's potential and preparing them for a bright and successful future.

These teachers possess these qualities:

  • Adaptability: Teachers are accustomed to adapting their teaching methods and strategies to meet the unique needs of each child.
  • Caring: Teachers want students to achieve their goals and, as such, are eager to assist. When teachers exude this attribute, students feel heard and respected, leading to an overall happier and more productive classroom.
  • Communication Skills: Teachers are adept at communicating, a vital skill for building trust and maintaining relationships.
  • Community driven: Teachers naturally gravitate toward helping others and are committed to creating brighter, safer communities. Often, they will volunteer with their schools or outside of the classroom.
  • Dedicated: From constructing sound lesson plans to dressing their best, teachers are passionate and will continue to show up for their classrooms, even on days when it’s hard.
  • Empathy: Teachers are skilled at understanding and responding to the emotional needs of children. They can provide the emotional support and care needed to ensure a child's well-being.
  • Empowered: Many teachers have innate leadership qualities and continually improve themselves
  • Nurturing: Working with young children often requires a high level of patience. This attribute is crucial when caring for and nurturing a child, especially during challenging or stressful moments.
  • Supportive Nature: Teachers are naturally inclined to support and encourage a child's growth and development. They can provide guidance, mentorship, and a nurturing environment to help a child thrive.

What Is an Early Childhood Teacher?

Early childhood development teachers are educators who specialize in working with young children during their formative years from infancy to around eight years old. These dedicated professionals play a key role in shaping a child's early experiences and fostering their intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth. They create nurturing learning environments, offer guidance to parents and caregivers, and use their expertise to support children in reaching important developmental milestones. Preschool teachers, daycare workers, and elementary school teachers all work together as educators to provide a strong foundation for a child's lifelong learning journey.

The Importance of Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education (ECE) can effectively prepare children to lead successful lives. Experiences through ECE programs offered by local school districts can provide opportunities to further students’ brain development and grow language and learning skills in their early years. Additionally, educators prioritize developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), which is suitable for helping children make progress by tailoring curriculums and teaching strategies to their ages, interests, and personal development.

Identifying Early Childhood Teacher Roles

In addition to early childhood teachers, there are numerous other early learning professionals who make high-quality education for children possible, including paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, and many more.

What Is a Paraprofessional?

A paraprofessional offers assistance to both students and teachers. Also known as instructional aids, they can provide hands-on support to children, and they can also help teachers manage their classrooms. Because paraprofessionals work with kids both individually and in group situations, they can gather critical insights and relay them to teachers.

What Is a Substitute Teacher?

A substitute teacher manages a classroom for an absent teacher. They can teach a variety of grade levels, and many people who receive their teaching certifications will look into how to become a substitute teacher to benefit from flexible schedules and work on developing classroom management skills. Substitute teachers are also critical for classrooms, as they provide fresh energy and perspectives while teachers are out.

Other Early Childhood Education Roles

In addition to teachers, those who are interested in child development and early childhood education programs can take on other roles. For example, childcare providers, who have partnerships with teachers, keep young learners engaged before or after school. Additionally, special education teachers specialize in working with children with disabilities, creating personalized programs that align with their unique capabilities. School counselor roles are also available to help children navigate their mental health. These individuals focus on partnering with students to improve problem-solving, time management, and social development skills that can be applied inside and outside of the classroom.

Advancing Your Early Childhood Career

When it comes to staying updated on early childhood care methodology and providing quality education, many teachers will choose to invest in their professional development, no matter if they work with private or public schools. This can entail renewing their teaching licenses, applying for enrollment in degree programs, and pursuing additional educational opportunities such as conferences and workshops.

Challenges Teachers Face

The United States is facing a teacher shortage. Research from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) found that 1 in 10 teacher positions are either vacant or filled by someone uncertified for the subject they are teaching. Experts cite many reasons for the continued teacher shortage including:

  • Increase Cost for College Degrees
  • Low Salary
  • Increased Workload
  • Stressful Working Conditions leading to Burn-Out
  • Curriculum Issues
  • Lack of Support in the Classroom

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the teacher shortage is very real and increasingly dire. When factors like teacher certification, pertinent training, and experience are considered, the scarcity of educators becomes even more pressing than current assessments suggest. Regrettably, schools with high poverty levels bear the brunt of the shortage in qualified teachers. A shortage of teachers puts students and teachers at risk.

The Need To Supplement Teaching Income

Many teachers work second jobs out of necessity and they do so while maintaining their commitment to their students and the teaching profession. Here are some reason teachers supplement their teaching income:

  1. Low Teacher Salaries: Lower salaries can make it challenging for teachers to cover all their living expenses, particularly in areas with a high cost of living.
  2. Student Loan Debt: Many teachers carry substantial student loan debt from their education and training. Repaying these loans can be a significant financial burden, leading some teachers to seek additional income to pay off their student loans.
  3. Additional Education Expenses: Teachers often invest in their classrooms, purchasing supplies and materials out of their pockets. These out-of-pocket expenses can strain their finances, prompting the need for a second job to offset these costs.
  4. Supporting Their Own Education: Some teachers pursue advanced degrees or professional development to be better teachers. Additional income helps them with tuition and other costs associated with advanced education.
  5. Supporting Their Family: Teachers may have families to support, and the combination of lower salaries and increasing living costs can make it necessary to work a second job to make ends meet.
  6. Seasonal Employment: Oftentimes, teachers have unpaid summer and winter hiatus. During these breaks, they may seek seasonal, remote or part-time work to maintain a steady income.
  7. Passion Projects: Some teachers take on second jobs or side gigs to pursue their interests and passions, such as writing, coaching, or tutoring.

How Can You Help Teachers in Need?

Every little bit helps! In addition to supporting the teacher in your life with our campaign highlighting DonorsChoose, there are many ways you can support teachers in need. From getting involved with education policy, volunteering at your local school, fundraising for teachers who need classroom supplies and more. You can also consider becoming a teacher yourself.

Show Your Teacher Appreciation! Earn $5 for Every Teacher You Help

ConceiveAbilities believes in building strong family foundations.Teachers help many families give their children strong foundations for tomorrow. Over 90% of teachers spend their own money to cover the cost of classroom supplies, spending, on average, over $700 of their own money. We want to help these dedicated teachers, particularly early childhood teachers who play such an important role in the early foundation of learning. Share this link with your favorite early childhood teacher (pre-K through 2nd grade) to empower them to request much needed materials for their students through DonorsChoose. Every time you share this link with a teacher you want to support, you get a $5 reward and so does the teacher you are supporting. And, if that teacher decides to set up a classroom project with Donors Choose, or identifies an existing project on DonorsChoose, ConceiveAbilities will donate up to $250 toward their selected project!

Here’s How To Help:

  1. Enter your email address to learn more about how Donors Choose is supporting teachers during this important time.
  2. For every early childhood educator that enters their email, you get a $5 reward and we give your favorite teacher a $5 reward.
  3. If that teacher decides to set up a project with DonorsChoose, ConceiveAbilities will donate up to $250 toward their selected project! All they have to do is email supportteachers@‌conceiveabilities.com and attach a link to your Donors Choose, PreK-2, project. Following our review, ConceiveAbilities will donate up to $250 in support of you as an Early Childhood teacher, and your classroom!
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