Early childhood education

Teachers’ Professional Growth

Just like the medicine profession, early childhood education has evolved to a professional career. The profession requires increased education, long time learning expectations and different levels of staffs. Teaching young children is significantly a serious career, which requires high levels of concentration and dedication. It requires teachers who realize the importance of their career and are eager to increase their knowledge, skills, and effectiveness (Arends, 2012). Young children are very delicate in that they are at their first stage of learning. Some are special with special needs requirements and require specialized tteaching. There is then the need to treat the children equally based on their needs and requirements. The education philosophy is quality education for all children.

The teaching program at Tour College has been effective. One learns about different contexts and scenarios that are helpful in the actual practice; Personally, I have acquired many skills and have grown professionally. The education philosophy is to serve all children equally and with ease. Different children have different needs, and it is upon the teachers to develop ways of teaching a child effectively. Students have individualized needs and it is upon the teacher to manage the curriculum in such a way that all students benefit. Unlike Nursing where a test in the lab determines a disease, determining the needs of a special student is different.

The goal of early education philosophy is to eliminate all the barriers that hinder the teachers from serving all the students. This included inclusion for all students to promote equal and quality education for all. The teaching program has installed the education philosophy into my professional growth. As the teaching program concludes, the different components of the program have installed different views, which enable the teachers to realize the professional responsibility. Professionally, the teachers have developed in that the different components of the program are adequate to prepare them for the task ahead.

The teaching program has different components. These components have different values to different teachers. All the components have a special place in the preparation of the teachers for the actual teaching as a profession. They incorporate all the necessary skills to be able to match the needs of children in early childhood education. Some of the particular components that have been of particular value include the use of available technology, classroom management, professional responsibilities, program and student evaluation and the teaching experience.

A major component is the use of the available technology. Such technology includes the internet, video animations, computers, smart board, and power point presentation including others. Children learn better, when they can see what they are being taught. This requires a teacher to use video animations created using computers. This presents the need for the teacher to have prior experience with such technologies. Today, many technologies are incorporated in the teaching programs. From presentations to the use of smart boards, a teacher without the knowledge of these technologies will have a hard time implementing the curriculum.

Class management is very crucial when a teacher is dealing with children. Just like adults, children behave differently; the teacher has to maintain both the individual and group behavior to ensure the classroom environment is conducive to facilitate effective learning. In addition, the teacher also has to maintain order and calm in the classroom. Having the children maintain order is not simple. It requires children management skills. In addition, the classroom has to be neat. In other places like in the cafeteria, children have to be closely monitored. Other classroom management elements include keeping attendance records, making progress charts, demonstrating the reporting procedures knowledge to the parents and other supervisory duties.

As a teacher, there are professional responsibilities. These include after-school events involving the teachers and the parents. Such events enable the bonding between the teachers, parents and the children. The bond between the teacher and the parent is important in managing the welfare of the child. In addition, one has to learn the system used by a particular district to be able to assess the children. In addition, the knowledge of the different professional resources and organizations is significant.

Before the end of the program, a teacher trainee has to be involved in an actual teaching under the observation of the instructor and the cooperating teacher. This component of the program is very valuable in that one gets to practice firsthand what has been acquired in college under observations. This allows corrections and improvements to ensure that the teacher is well prepared before joining other professionals in the field. From appearance to punctuality, the teacher needs to be in good command of the classroom, and the student teacher can test this through an observatory teaching practice.

From professional development and growth, the teaching program at Touro College has very valuable components. The program prepares one adequately for the real practice out there. In addition, it also instills the education philosophy in one’s mind and practice. Dealing with young children some of who have special needs is not simple, but after completing the program, one realizes that the different components of the program have been adequate in preparing for the task.

New teachers in both the general and special education bring different experiences and backgrounds as well as preparation levels from their experiences. Their views of their professional roles shape their motivations, and this sets the context at which they begin their career. Such teachers face some challenges when they are new. Dealing with children is not a simple task especially as a new teacher. In addition, just like other professions, being new comes with its challenges. Special education for one is very challenging. It requires dedication and special attention. Most of the challenges new teachers face forces them to opt for other professions.

A major challenge is isolation. In some cases, in small towns or rural schools, there is only one special education teacher in an entire district. Given the extreme demands the teacher has to fulfill, there might be no time to bond with other teachers. Bonding allows the new teacher to learn from the experienced and old teachers and feel supported. This might not be possible when one is the only special needs teacher in an entire district. A new teacher will feel isolated and opt out (Bullough Jr, 2011). An old teacher may have gotten used to the situation and may not fell isolated as opposed to a new teacher. A possible solution to this problem is the introduction of professional learning communities where one can share and learn. With the easy access to the internet today, professionals can communicate with each other online and share experiences. However, the new teachers must get the time to do this given their busy schedules.

Another challenge faced by new teachers is excessive paperwork.  The need and requirement to document students’ progress especially for the special needs teachers are exhausting for a new teacher. As an addition to the demanding role of teaching, the new teacher has to document the progress in compliance with regulations. Special education teachers, for example, have to comply with the IDEA, which requires them to monitor the special needs children closely and document progress. To a new teacher, this is exhausting and demoralizing. Most of the new teachers are very optimistic when joining the profession but along the way end up being very disappointed. They get to the job very excited to help the children but get involved with the different tasks presented and end up burning out. A possible solution is the introduction of better technology. With improved technology, teachers can generate the standard goals, then collect data, and monitor progress automatically. This will enable the teacher to put more effort in engaging with the children.

One of the most common challenges with new teachers is the reality shock (Dicke et al., 2015). As mentioned earlier, new teachers view of their professional roles shape their motivations, and this sets the context at which they begin their career. Reality shock is the breaking of expectations and ideals when a teacher is confronted with the classroom reality. Most of the teachers training colleges have a component in their program that allows student teachers to practice in a real classroom setting under supervision. This is just part of the program, and the student teacher may feel they are still learning. However, after joining other professionals in the real world, new teachers have a hard time integrating into the classroom.

Classroom management entails creating an environment that will support both the social and academic learning. An excellent classroom manager will match the classroom activities, instructional goals, and students’ characteristics (Dicke et al., 2015). This decreases classroom indiscipline cases. For a new teacher with no prior experience of such tactics, classroom management becomes a challenge. The high expectations and motivations of the new teacher are shattered and the reality shock sets in.

A possible solution to the reality shock is the introduction of classroom management interventions for a few days. An experienced teacher can help the new teacher to manage the classroom for a few days before the new teacher settles in (Dicke et al., 2015). This will help the new teacher to understand the characteristics and skills significant in the management of the classroom from an experienced teacher rather than taking so much time discovering them on their own. This will also improve the well-being of the new teacher since the reality shock is a major stressor in the teaching profession.

Classroom discipline is yet another challenge faced by new teachers. Research studies have shown that not all teachers face this challenge, but most of the new teachers do. Class discipline is a large component and is viewed differently by different people. The aspect of discipline generates different views and reactions with new teachers (Bullough Jr, 2011). Indiscipline in the classroom is wide and covers all the unusual behaviors and happenings in the classroom. Misconduct in the classroom can take different forms. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition on the course of action in correcting indiscipline. The issue is that the action the new teacher takes will set a routine for all other indiscipline cases. New teachers have limited information and no experience in dealing with indiscipline.

Any new teacher should have the necessary theoretical technique to solve an indiscipline case in the classroom. The problem is that the theoretical aspect of education and the teacher training fails to prepare new teachers for this scenario. If no support comes from the experienced teachers, the new teacher will feel abandoned and confused on the course of action to take. Indiscipline is a wide component, and a new teacher cannot be able to set a precedent on all indiscipline cases alone (Fraser, 2015). This requires the guidance of an experienced teacher or school management to avoid any problems with the parents and the school administrators. If new teachers take the wrong course of action after classroom indiscipline, it can amount to a legal liability.

Classroom discipline challenge requires excellent classroom management skills. When a class is well managed, instances of indiscipline will be rare. The solution here is to avoid indiscipline by managing the class well.  The action of the teacher before and after indiscipline is very crucial to the management of latter cases of indiscipline (Fraser, 2015). An experienced teacher should take charge of classroom management for a few days to allow the new teacher to learn and settle in. This way, the new teacher will learn how to manage a class effectively including how to control and respond to indiscipline cases.

Another challenge faced by new teachers is adjusting to the realities of the school and organizational settings. New teachers have problems adjusting to regulations, rules, and organizational practices of a specific school. Different schools have different practices though regulations are universal. However, teachers receive no training on how to adhere to these regulations. This points to a problem in the induction programs that teachers undergo. Teachers’ preparations programs should cover this, but in most cases, new teachers have to read and understand the rules and regulations on their own (Dicke et al., 2015). In other professions, new employees undergo a training program for a few months before being assigned specific duties. In the teaching profession, this is not common. New teachers are expected to learn in their course of duty. With inadequate support, adjusting to a new setting becomes difficult for teachers.

A solution to this challenge is proper training before receiving high duty assignments. A new teacher should first handle lighter duties to give one the time and space to learn and be accustomed to the organizational setting. The experienced teachers should be willing to assist the new teacher to accustom to the organizational setting. In addition, there is a need for an induction program in the teaching profession to prepare the new teachers for the possible challenges ahead. The colleges should have a component of the teaching program that trains teachers on how to handle some of the common challenges.

Another challenge faced by new teachers is how to assess the student’s work and their relations with parents. New teachers act as evaluators with no reliable information on how to evaluate. In school, teachers learn theoretically on how to evaluate, but in the real practice, one has to do it practically.  Teachers must contain proper relations with the parents. For new teachers, maintaining a credible relationship with the parents is a challenge (Fraser, 2015). New teachers report the lack of support from the parents when implementing the teaching plans. In addition, most parents are not fully concerned about the well-being of the children at school. With these factors combined, it will be hard for a new teacher to maintain a good relationship with the parents.

There are individual differences with the students. Some students are fast learners, and others are slow learners. New teachers are prepared about this diversity, but the reality in the classroom dawns on them. The categories of students vary, and this poses a challenge to new teachers. The challenge here is how to merge the different categories of students, manage them as one class, and ensure that every learner benefits from the class. Diversifying the curricular to cover all the aspects of this kind of class is challenging.

A solution to this challenge is to increase the number of meetings between new teachers and parents. New teachers should be able to interact with parents regularly so that they can bond. In addition, parents should be encouraged to take more interest in the well-being of their children. This way, the parents will be able to interact with the teachers and form a credible relationship (Scherer, 2012). The curriculum format should be in such a way that the different clusters of students get the best from their teachers.

In some environments, new teachers receive little or no support from the experienced teachers. New teachers come with energy and enthusiasm into the classrooms but also have a set of needs. They need support and guidance from the experienced teachers and the school administration. However, in some cases, some teachers are reluctant to support new teachers or the new teacher is reluctant to ask to ask for help. In such a case, the new teacher struggles on his/her own. While the experienced teachers may be abundant with class management ideas, lesson plans and how to generate constructive feedback, new teachers may be longing for such ideas (Mutton, Hagger & Burn, 2011). However, if the experienced teachers are not willing to offer the ideas, then the new teachers continue to suffer in silence. A solution to this challenge is departmental meetings. In departmental meetings, teachers can share ideas and challenges. New teachers will get an avenue where they gain experience and bond with other teachers such that they can ask for help when in need.

Just like other professions, the teaching profession is not easy. Contrary to popular belief, teaching is as challenging as other professions. Just because a teacher deals with children does not mean that it is easy. For new teachers, the situation is even worse in that there are many challenges to face. Most of the new teachers end up burning out and abandoning the teaching profession due to the many challenges. Even though some of the challenges are covered in the colleges teaching programs, the real teaching experience is challenging. However, there are documented solutions to most of the challenges out there affecting teachers. The support offered to new teachers is not enough as compared to other professions where new employees undergo some training before engaging in real tasks. If such a program is implemented in the teaching profession, most of the challenges could be evaded. The teaching practice included in the college teaching programs is not enough for practice.

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