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The Many Hats of Educators: Professional Responsibilities

When you think of an early childhood education teacher one might think about a person that runs after children and changes diapers all day. Some might refer to use as "Babysitters" and have a simple and easy job. However, as a 20 year veteran of the field, I can say this is far from the truth. Early childhood education teachers are representatives and fighter for the youth of the present and generations of the future. We are caretakers, educators, nurses, security, cleaners, and so much more. I can't tell you how many times a child calls me mommy each day. As educators of the early childhood field we have a professional responsibility to be respectful and loving with all our actions and words. Our students, parents, and coworkers are watching us all for examples as a role model.

Here are five professional responsibilities and description for early childhood education teachers:

  1. We have a professional responsibility to maintain confidentiality with all our dealings when it comes to our students and families. When a parent confides in you it is important that you maintain that trust and not share that info with others without the families' written or verbal permission. This includes coworkers, therapist, social workers, and others. However if you suspect abuse you should report your concern and suspicion to to the state and follow proper protocol for such a case.

  2. We have a professional responsibility to maintain a positive attitude. We all face problems and obstacles, but as educators we have to leave our troubles outside. Our students feed off our energy and it can have a negative impact on the environment in the classroom. We have to remember that little eyes are watching our movements, actions, words, and reactions. As I tell my staff, "It is better to be Proactive then Reactive" and this allows you to maintain a calm spirit and be understanding to the children.

  3. We have a professional responsibility to support the children in our care. Parents enroll their children in the school so that they are educated and supported to be successful. Once you lose sight of that you lose sight of the main goal. The children in our centers and homes today will be the professionals of tomorrow and if we neglect them now they will neglect us later. We have to feed our students needs, interests, and wants to help them find success and joy in learning.

  4. We have a professional responsibility to educate our minds to be the best educators we can be. New research and lessons are consistently being explored, shared, and discussed that helps transform and improve the field and services we provided. We have to be dedicated to being lifetime students ourselves so we are kept aware and informed of changes and innovative ways to educate and support our students. With the knowledge we gain we pass that on to our students.

  5. We have a professional responsibility to be objective and nonbiased in our practices. We have the ability to break down barriers and walls of hate through our love for others through our teachings. Children are not born with hate but are taught it so we must make a sound decision in our practices to be loving to all walks of life, nationalities, races, beliefs, and sexual orientations. As stated before our students are watching us and will use these memories in the future to know how to deal with others that are different from them. Being objective in our observation will also support our planning and make teaching more intentional and will yield higher success rates.

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