Working in a day care, kindergarten class or any other early childcare environment presents its own unique challenges, including how to keep every child engaged, considering how different their interests and levels of understanding can be from one another. At such young ages, children have different temperaments and comfort levels in their environment, as well as with each other. As such, early childcare workers try to make lesson plans that focus on developing each child’s skills—creative, motor, verbal, social—in order to engage with them every day.
A lesson plan is an outline of what activities will be done in the classroom, how long they’ll go on for, and what the learning goals for the class are. Oftentimes, both early childcare instructors and assistants collaborate to develop lesson plans. If you’re interested in an early childcare assistant career, take a look at these tips for crafting the perfect lesson plan!
Early Childcare Assistant Training Teaches the Value of Considering the Child’s Strengths & Interests
In general, students—no matter how young or old—tend to work best when they are engaged in the lesson and working on something that they’re interested in. While each individual may have different strengths and interests, there are some common threads for younger age groups that can help keep levels of engagement high throughout the classroom. One way to encourage engagement is to ensure each child is given the opportunity to be creative throughout the day. This can be done by providing them with time for painting, drawing, singing, tracing letters and other fun activities.
A benefit to keeping children engaged is that it helps each childcare instructor and childcare assistant build and maintain strong, trusting relationships with the children. Working to keep their level of engagement high shows children that the early childcare workers understand them; who they are and what they like at this early stage in their life. On the other hand, it allows early childcare assistants to be more effective and help the children learn various things, from the basics of the alphabet to how to interact with their peers.
A Good Lesson Plan Involves Outlining Clear Learning Objectives for Each Child
Students enrolled in an early childcare assistant program will complete a hands-on placement during their training, which will give them an idea of the actual classroom experience. During their placement, students will learn that each child needs a different amount of attention, engagement, and encouragement in order to stay interested in the lesson. Some tasks, like moving bins filled with toys, sitting quietly and attentively while stories are being told, and walking in a single-file line, will be easier for some students than for others. Regardless, an early childcare assistant’s goal is to ensure each student is comfortable doing all of these things by the end of the year. That’s why it’s important to develop clear objectives, ensuring each child is on track and learns the necessary skills.
Early Childcare Assistant College Teaches the Importance of Unstructured Time & Creative Instruction
Once you’ve completed your early childcare assistant training, you’ll learn just how crucial unstructured time and the ability to be creative are to a child’s development. Young children learn most effectively through play, which occurs most often during recess. They experience different things by exploring the world and by engaging with each other. In particular, having that unstructured time allows them to develop their social skills, which helps them learn how to regulate their emotions, solve problems and set boundaries. One of the ways to bring the concept of playing into the classroom as an early childcare assistant is to mix the elements of creativity and fun, while also letting the students interact with one another. This can happen by doing something as simple as playing games that let children be creative; such as hide-and-seek, dress up, or playing with dolls, stuffed animals or toy dinosaurs.
Knowing how to craft a perfect lesson plan is a sure-fire way to help children develop to their full potential, by being considerate, allowing room for creativity and play, and outlining objectives for each of them. Working as an early childcare assistant is an emotionally rewarding, stable and flexible career; what are you waiting for? Decided that it’s time to enroll in early childcare assistant college? Visit Computek for more information or to speak with an advisor.