8 Common challenges faced by preschool teachers
As a preschool teacher, you face several new and unique challenges on an everyday basis. You often find yourself struggling with establishing the right curriculum, dealing with the different needs of toddlers at the same time, and communicating minor details about the kids with the parents.
The classroom is a completely new world and paradigm for the kids, so striking a balance between conducting the classes successfully and providing answers to the curiosities of the kids becomes crucial.
Many complexities come along with being an early childhood educator. Let us take a look at a few of them.
1. Managing the kids
Handling a classroom full of toddlers is never an easy task. Although it brings its own set of delightful moments, it can very well be exhausting. Every kid in the class has a different need, and catering to each of them while trying to instill productivity and creativity can be quite challenging. It takes a lot of patience and effort in retaining the attention of the kids, who tend to get distracted easily.
2. Executing the school curriculum
Along with struggling to teach the lessons and get the message across while managing several kids at once, preschool teachers face several other challenges in terms of effectively implementing the school’s curriculum.
Lack of technology availability
The emphasis on teaching with modern technology is more than ever right now and most preschools are not equipped with the right tools to enable digital education for toddlers. This results in teachers struggling to figure out ways to make up for the lack of technology and having to make do with imparting bookish learning.
Lesson planning is tedious
A huge chunk of a preschool teacher’s time goes into understanding the prescribed curriculum, making arrangements for various activities, and observing and documenting the kid’s progress. Planning lessons is not an easy job, given one needs to consider the development needs of several students in a class. Hence, figuring out lesson plans that would work for everyone becomes difficult while also having to simultaneously handle day-to-day activities along with taking care of all the paperwork.
Preparing assessment reports is time-taking
Formulating the assessment plan and then preparing reports based on the performance of the kids is just another task that preschool teachers are responsible for. Since curriculum planning takes up most of the time of the teachers, it becomes a struggle for them to go through all the paperwork and create a child’s development report.
How can Illumine help?
Illumine’s assessment tool is one of the best preschool assessment tools you can find out there. It is built to help teachers lay down assessment formats that are quick and easy to work with. It gives teachers the freedom to either work with the pre-existing framework or customize their own to cater to the individual needs of the children.
It helps them clearly define the developments of each kid against each of the given skillset – making the process of assessment simplified and paperless, consequently saving them time and energy.
This way, it also becomes easy to update parents on the progress of their child, making the areas of each child’s strengths and weaknesses clear.
3. Communicating with the parents
Keeping parents at par with their kid’s everyday learning and growth is one of the most important steps in the process of teaching toddlers. In other words, clear and transparent parent communication is another essential responsibility of the early education teachers. When parents are in the loop with their kid’s learning curve, their strengths, and weaknesses, they are best equipped with information to support the kid to grow to their best potential.
It’s the teacher’s responsibility to make sure parents know the ins and outs of their child’s early education stage, as this is what makes up the foundation of how and what they grow into.
But equipped with so many other tasks at hand, it is no easy job to update parents of every child in their class with the developments in the class each day. This part of their job requires a lot of time, energy, and patience.
How can Illumine help?
With Illumine, parent-teacher communication is no longer a difficult task. The platform has features for parent communication with the help of which, teachers can update parents on every activity their kid does in the classroom in real-time.
From updating nap, meal, and potty times, to sharing real-time pictures and videos – it enables them to do everything – all at a touch of a few buttons.
4. Handling paperwork
Preschool teachers need to maintain and update piles of paperwork daily. These documents usually include attendance records, meal plans, lesson plans, class activities, amongst other things. On average, early childhood educators spend 45 minutes each day on documentation. This accounts for a huge amount of time, when we take the various other activities they do daily such as teaching, managing the kids, taking care of, and recording their meals and nap times into consideration.
How can Illumine help?
Gone are the days of paperwork. Everything is digital when you’ve got Illumine deployed at the school. Everything that a teacher possibly needs to take care of, can be done with the help of the platform. Teachers can record real-time attendance, plan lessons, make assessment reports, and update and communicate with parents all from a single place.
This saves them an incredible amount of time and gives them the peace of mind they deserve after working so hard each day. Additionally, its daycare daily report feature helps them create activity reports effortlessly, with a push of a few buttons.
5. Low salaries
One of the reports by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkley states that on average, an early childhood educator earns just about $22,000 annually. This figure, when compared to the other jobs out there, is almost shocking and demotivating. The uneven balance between the pay and the amount of workload is just another pressure point for the teachers.
6. Lack of recognition and value
The work that preschool teachers do is honest and humble, but also very crucial. Some of the most important cognitive developments in a child happen before the age of 5, hence, by investing time and energy into making sure the toddlers grow into their best version, the teachers are not just helping out the parents but also laying the initial bricks that will form the foundation of the skills and intellect that a child develops upon growing up.
But even though the work they do is important, early childhood educators are often underestimated and for most parts unrecognized and unappreciated for the amount of effort they put in.
7. Inability to seek new opportunities
Most of the time, a preschool teacher is occupied with taking care of all the commitments they have at their respective childcare institutions. Hence, they barely have any time to focus on themselves or their careers. This often gets stuck at where they are in their lives, with no time or opportunities to grow.
8. Hindered career growth
Since because of their hectic schedules and already preoccupied lives, preschool teachers don’t get a chance to look out for or go after new opportunities, the room for growth is very little for them.
This is what results in early childhood teachers being frustrated with their jobs, and is also a factor behind why many people, even if interested, don’t pursue this career.
All in all, being a preschool teacher is a work of passion and commitment. The workload of the teachers is enormous and is also very challenging daily. As easy as it might sound, it’s not. It is truly time and effort-consuming work, but it also is rewarding in its ways.