Aspiring teachers who enjoy working with young children may want to consider a career in early childhood education. Formally, this can span ages from birth to eight years of age. Educators working with young children may do so at daycare centers, preschools, elementary schools and other facilities that teach youngsters in this age range. There are classes for infants and toddlers that they often attend with a parent which focus on learning through fun.
The areas of development in this field are often referred to by the acronym SPICE. The first area is Social. This relates to the child forming bonds with caregivers and other children and learning social skills like sharing. Physical is the development of motor skills, which fall into two categories, small and large. Intellectual delves into teaching youngsters to understand their surroundings and their world. Finally, Emotional deals with the child developing confidence, awareness of self, understanding and coping with their emotions.
Where you can teach, and what you will be teaching as an educator of young children depends on the age range of the children. During your own education and training, you will learn about the stages of cognitive development in young children and most likely specialize in the development of the age range you plan to teach. Between the ages of birth and two years, children are in the Sensorimotor Stage of development. There are substages within this category you will learn.
Children who are between two and seven years of age are in the Preoperational Stage, during which language, memory and imagination are emphasized. Older children who may be out of the early childhood range, between the ages of 7 and 12, are in the Concrete Operations Stage. These teachings often deal with things like number, weight, volume, logic and related subjects. At any stage, the teacher is also helping the child with self-esteem and social skills.
Teaching early childhood education at any level can be very rewarding and enjoyable for those who love interacting with young children. Education at an early age is important because during the first years of life, a child’s mind is like a sponge that absorbs information they are taught and information about the world around them. The teachings these children receive help prepare them for education and interaction with others later in life.