So Now You Are a Teacher!

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Welcome to the wonderful world of caring for and educating young children, you are a new teacher! You may have developed many skills for working with children but you will now be on the job side by side with other adults as well. The first few days on the job as a new teacher in child care are important. They often determine the way you will permanently feel about the job. First impressions count, the way you present yourself initially will set the tone for future interactions at your new child care center.

Off To A Good Start

  • Be Positive.
  • Ask for help. Your supervisor and other teachers will expect you to ask questions. They will be willing to help when you ask.
  • Don't be a know-it-all. You are new on the job. No matter how much you know, how skilled you are, you don't know everything about this particular job. Take the first few weeks to learn. You will gain the respect of your co-workers and supervisor by demonstrating your ability to do your job well. Then you can begin making suggestions to improve the ways things are done.
  • Find a Buddy. Look for someone who seems to know the job well and ask for help. This may or may not be a co-teacher in the same classroom.
  • Follow Instructions. Read Company Policy. Daycare centers often provide teachers with printed materials explaining their policies and procedures. Read this carefully. Ignorance will not be considered a reason for doing something wrong or not knowing what to do.

Becoming Part of a Team

Working as a team is particularly important in a setting where everyone has a mutual goal; quality care for young children. Individual diversity strengthens a team. Men and women often approach problems differently. Team members can learn from each other and build these positive characteristics into the work group. People from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds look at problems from different points of view. Teachers of different ages can also be valuable contributors. Young teachers often bring enthusiasm and energy into a job, while older workers bring patience and their experience. These combined characteristics often make at team stronger. No matter what the differences are, each person can contribute to the team. It is important for all the members of a team to share their thoughts and ideas. Understanding each other's point of view will help you overcome any differences and attain the goals of the program.

You will need to know how you will fit into the child care team. This doesn't happen immediately. It will take some time before you know how to work well with others in your center. Know your position and find out what others expect from you in addition to your supervisor's expectations. Other workers may have a specific method they use to do a job. Do your fair share but don't do other people's work. As a member of a team you should cooperate and help others if asked. However, some people will try to take advantage of this cooperative spirit and push their work off on others.

Seventeen Ways to Work Well With Others

  1. Get to know the other workers.
  2. Don't try to change everything.
  3. Be honest.
  4. Avoid romance with co-workers. They can make relationships with other co-workers awkward and often create an unpleasant situation when the romance ends.
  5. Don't limit friendships to just co-workers.
  6. Don't let friendships with co-workers interfere with your work performance.
  7. Be direct. Let people know when they have done something that bothers you. Most people want to know when there is a problem, rather than have you be uncomfortable around them. They may also be resentful if you go over their head before coming to them with the concern. Don't be a complainer or whiner. Make sure your problem is important before you take it to the director.
  8. Avoid gossip
  9. Be positive and supportive, daycare can be a stressful job.
  10. Show appreciation.
  11. Share credit when it's deserved.
  12. Return favors.
  13. Live in the present. Avoid talking about the way things used to be. People don't want to here how great or bad your old job was.
  14. Ask for help and advise when needed.
  15. Avoid battles. Let co-workers with problems work out their own differences. Do not take sides in these situations.
  16. Follow group standards.
  17. Work together to share resources. You may be sharing art supplies, or space like a playground or a gym. Be sure to communicate openly to establish standards that are acceptable to everyone.