Some of the most dynamic years for learning start the minute a child is born. From infancy to age 8, children undergo their most rapid period of brain development (and, therefore, their most important period for learning) in life. Early childhood educators play a vital role in ensuring these children get the education they deserve, whether they are in preschool or first grade.
Time and time again, studies have shown that high-quality early childhood education increases the probability that children will become successful students and citizens later in life. It sets the foundation for their entire future.
If you are considering a career in early childhood education (ECE), you may be wondering about school readiness. School readiness is a branch of ECE designed to prepare younger children for the formal school experience, typically before kindergarten. School readiness teachers often work with children between the ages of 3 and 5 – which again, are some of the most important years for learning.
What is a School Readiness Teacher?
A school readiness teacher is a type of early childhood educator that is responsible for preparing young students – from infancy to five-years-old – for elementary school. They can work in childcare centers, home-based care settings, as well as after school programs.
School readiness teachers monitor child development, ensuring students are physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally prepared to enter school. They kick-start the learning process by teaching color, shape, number, and letter recognition, as well as promoting good hygiene and social skills.
Why Become a School Readiness Teacher?
School readiness teachers bring many benefits to children and their families. They help to:
- Provide a quality education to young children, which might not be accessible otherwise. In Connecticut, for example, school readiness programs can mostly be found within in-need communities where early education and childcare has historically been less attainable.
- Prevent or minimize developmental delays in children, by providing them with a valuable learning experience during some of the key years for brain development.
- Encourage a love for learning! School readiness teachers typically teach through imaginative play and activities. They tell stories, create arts and crafts, plan fun fieldtrips outside, and play games to engage children in the learning process.
How to Become a School Readiness Teacher
Like any educator career, there are certain steps you must take to become a school readiness teacher. Typically, this starts with an education.
- Fulfill educational requirements.
To become a school readiness teacher in Connecticut, you must earn an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in the ECE field. The early childhood education program you choose should involve a student teaching component, providing you with practical experience working with young children.
Whether you earn a bachelor’s degree or associate degree in early childhood education will depend on your career aspirations. Degree requirements may vary by employer and workplace.
2. Earn the Early Childhood Teacher Credential.
Earning your degree from an approved college or university, and participating in a student teaching experience, will enable you to pursue your Early Childhood Teacher Credential (ECTC) in the state of Connecticut. This is a competency-based credential that most schools and employers seek in early educators and childcare providers today. You can learn more on the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood’s website.
3. Learn the skills to succeed.
School readiness teachers today need to be able to work with children, and engage them in their learning. Therefore, these teachers (and their teaching assistants) must be patient, friendly, emotionally expressive, creative, and organized. In addition, school readiness teachers must have excellent observation skills. This is because they must monitor children closely, and spot any signs of emotional, developmental, physical, or health-related problems in students. Finally, school readiness teachers must have strong communication skills, to be able to communicate with students as well as parents each day.
These skills can all be learned through the right childhood education degree program.
Become a School Readiness Teacher through Goodwin University
Goodwin University’s early childhood education programs prepare students to fulfill an array of teaching careers, including those within school readiness programs.
Graduates of our bachelor’s degree in child study are eligible to become school readiness teachers.
Graduates of our associate degree in early childhood education are typically eligible to pursue entry level career as a school readiness assistant teacher. School readiness assistant teachers help prepare children for formal learning, by planning educational activities and working one-on-one with students when needed.
Launch a fulfilling career in teaching today. Call Goodwin University at 800-889-3282 to learn more about our Early Childhood Education programs. Or, visit us online to request more information.