Good for you! Working with children can be very rewarding and I am glad you are considering it. You will be helping to prepare a foundation for their future studies and helping to positively shape their lives as well.
Community college courses for those seeking to work with children will include:
- Early Childhood Education
- Pedagogy (Teaching skills)
- Child Growth and Development
- Lesson Planning
The list above is not all of what you will study or all of what you should study. Depending on the ages of the children you are interested in teaching (daycare, preschool, elementary), you may be required to obtain a Child Development Associate credential (CDA), become licensed in your state by passing a certification exam, and/or receive CPR training, as well as a course(s) to teach you to recognize signs of abuse. Your studies will also include field-based internships/practicums. This will require you to observe an experienced teacher and later require you to demonstrate your pedagogical (teaching) skills by teaching a class as well. Also, be prepared to have continual training, continuing education, and ongoing professional hours that will need to be maintained so that your employer can report them as completed.
For the most part, you will specialize in developing communication skills, interpersonal skills, and sharpen your reading, writing, and math skills so that you can teach those skills to your class. Moreover, creativity and patience are a must when teaching students at any age so be prepared to inspire and motivate while practicing these two soft-skills.
While in college, if not before, do your best to gain experience as a childcare worker or teacher's assistant so that you can associate your classroom skills with what you are learning academically in college. If you haven't already, this experience can be gained by volunteering at your local church, after-school program, or any non-profit organization. Keep in mind, a background check is required.
Once again, I am so glad you are considering to help cultivate the young minds of our future! My best to you on your future endeavors.
You can learn more about the teaching profession at: Teach.com
L.N. recommends the following next steps:
- Visit: Teach.com and research the Early Childhood and/or the Elementary Education Profession.
- Research your chosen college's degree plan for Early Childhood and/or Elementary Education.
- If you haven't already, begin working or volunteering with an educational program for children.