Education

Prep for the future

To be innovative and adaptable enough to seize any opportunity, teachers need to invest in themselves.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

In this rapidly changing world, there is no doubting the significance of a child’s early years and thereby the need for skilled early childhood education professionals. Preschool teachers in India usually need to have a basic graduation degree and to have done a training course in nursery teaching. However, this basic qualification is now insufficient. On the other hand, those early childhood educators who have invested in honing their skills are currently being flooded with opportunities. The career options for skilled professionals in education are at all-time high. From preschool teaching to curriculum designing, from counselling to school administration, from research to training, there is no dearth of opportunities.

Invest in learning

To be innovative and adaptable enough to seize any opportunity thrown their way, teachers need to invest in themselves today, not because they ‘want to’ but because they ‘need to’. Taking world-class courses, grabbing in-job progression opportunities, learning best practices from other countries, developing a network of passionate educators and in-depth training to enhance skills are some of the measures that teachers, especially early childhood professionals, should take into account.

Short-term online courses like international certificates and diplomas offer quick but highly effective learning tools for teachers to upgrade themselves. Long-term courses like postgraduate degrees in child development, psychology, teaching and management are a few other options to be future-ready.

Upskill

Teachers also have to prepare themselves to use technology as a partner. Digitisation provides a completely new playing field for educators, if they are able to master it. The current scene provides a plethora of tools for teachers and students to collaborate online and learn beyond what the textbook provides. Online teaching is here to stay and will remain an integral part of teaching in the near future.

Redefine teaching

Even with the presence of hybrid teaching methods that combine in-person and online teaching, the greatest contribution of teachers will not be something they teach, but someone they raise. The education system will eventually recalibrate the roles of teachers in the future. For example, the safety of children will not remain limited to physical measures. Instead, new age teachers will also have to focus on educating children on cyber safety.

Be future-ready

Early education practitioners will have to wear multiple hats. The very essence of teaching is changing and teachers of the future must be prepared to be data collectors, analysts, planners, collaborators, curriculum experts, problem-solvers and researchers. The career prospects are many but only for those who go beyond basic paper qualifications and are skilled enough to sustain the dynamic needs of ever the changing world. The future belongs to those early childhood professionals who enter into it with the unified force of skills, intellect and passion.

The writer is a child psychologist and Consultant Head at KLAY Preschools and Day-care

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 8:53:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/what-are-the-career-opportunities-for-early-childhood-educators/article33702326.ece

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