A REFLECTIVE TEACHER IS AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER: WHAT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS CAN DO TO STAY CURRENT AND ON TOP OF THEIR GAME
The Essence of Teaching Podcast (HONG KONG)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The role of early childhood educators is becoming ever more demanding with the increasing influence of technology, the diversity of family dynamics (broken homes, same sex parents, adopted siblings, step-parents etc.) and the varied (and often high) expectations that society places on early childhood education in ensuring the success of the next generation.
With this in mind, teachers must keep abreast with the changing perspectives in early childhood education, be aware of current trends and research, and continue to learn valuable skills so that they will stay motivated, inspired, effective, engaging and highly sought after for being at the top of their game.
Professional development for early childhood educators has come a long way, as there is such a huge array of options for teachers to learn skills and to keep current with developments in the early childhood education industry. There are teacher’s colleges, learning institutes, in-house workshops, seminars, talks, conferences, podcasting, online courses and chat forums for teachers from all over the world to get together and to exchange ideas and discuss challenges.
Given all these facilities for teachers to engage in professional development, there is still one skill that teachers need to learn in order to be able to put all information learnt into good use, and that is learning to be reflective. Learning to be a reflective teacher requires some level of discipline to set aside time on a regular basis and to reflect on their teaching practice. It allows for teachers to be self-critical, self-evaluative and to put their knowledge of early childhood education principles to the test.
Reflective teachers are those with the fundamental skills to learn, to improve themselves and to move foreword. They are able to implement new things, to customize it and to make it work in their own classroom environment.
Keywords: Early Childhood Educators, Kindergarten Teachers, Professional Development.