Preschoolers have an enthusiastic curiosity about their environment and the energy to explore it. For this reason, the preschool teacher needs to possess enthusiasm in order to keep up with them!
Enthusiasm, according to Roget’s Thesaurus, can also be described as “eager, whole-hearted, earnest and passionate.” When a teacher incorporates these various qualities, her class responds to her leadership. A preschool teacher who has no enthusiasm for her job will soon lose her students’ attention and control of the classroom.
Let’s look at these four traits of a preschool teacher with enthusiasm:
An eager teacher –
A teacher with enthusiasm is eager to welcome her students each day. If possible, she will greet them at the door and speak personally to each child, calling them by name. This is more effective than a blanket greeting of “Good morning, everyone!”
The preschool teacher should also be eager to share new learning experiences with her students. She knows how to make a book “come to life” during story hour and can introduce new activities in such a way, students want to cooperate. Her expressions, voice and posture all say, “I’m happy to share this with you!”
A whole-hearted teacher –
A teacher with enthusiasm also gives a whole-hearted effort to every aspect of the preschool learning environment. This includes making the room attractive to young children and being sure it is in good order with needed supplies close by. It also means giving whole-hearted attention to the children’s basic needs. There should be a balance of hands-on discovery activities, teaching time, recess or play time and, of course, rest time.
Perhaps one of the most important whole-hearted efforts should be given to keeping preschoolers safe. Remove any sharp or small objects that might injure the children. Keep an eye on student interaction and never allow bad situations to escalate. Know which children have allergies and what to do if an allergic reaction occurs on your watch. Be absolutely certain you have a list of names (with photos) of those who have legal custody of your students and will be picking them up after class.
An earnest teacher –
A preschool teacher should also be earnest in helping children learn and mature under his/her watch care. To be earnest means to be sincere, purposeful and devoted. Part of this maturing process involves teaching preschool children to properly relate to their classmates and teachers. Basic social skills include learning to adapt to new situations, being friendly to other classmates, learning to share and take turns and to listen when the teacher is talking.
The teacher’s earnest (devoted) efforts are needed to see that these skills – and others as they are introduced – are not only taught, but practiced on a consistent basis. Many skills can be taught through games, finger plays, songs and skits, and a good preschool teacher incorporates enthusiasm while doing so.
A passionate teacher –
Last, but not least, a teacher with enthusiasm is also passionate. Being passionate includes being stirred to action and excited about something. If preschoolers are anxious to get up and get to school each morning, you can bet their teacher is passionate in her desire to teach their minds and reach their hearts. A passionate teacher inspires others to follow and cooperate.
Enthusiasm is a necessary quality for teachers working with preschoolers. It means they are eager to be with their students, whole-hearted in making a positive impact in the children’s lives, earnest in carrying out their job and passionate about teaching. A preschool teacher with enthusiasm is a better preschool teacher!