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FEATURE: Five tips for an aspiring educator

The role of an educator is an important part of any society. The ability to teach, guide and inspire are significant qualities, which allow both a student and educator to grow as individuals.

Education is the continued building blocks that actively help people through every stage of his or her life. It's the habits we learn early on, though, that are crucial. An early childhood education professional works alongside these priorities. Essentially, it's practical role where you can make a difference.

Holmesglen Early Childhood Education teacher & Group Mentor Shayne Hinton shares five tips for an aspiring educator who is considering a career in the industry.

Be informed

The early childhood sector is fortunate to have a wealth of expertise that can be accessed via a multitude of ways. Getting to know the sector is important for aspiring educators as it helps them to be informed about some of the complexities of working within the early childhood field. There are many avenues from which educators can source this information. Facebook has numerous early childhood support groups that people can participate in. These spaces enable educators of all levels to engage in discussions about practices, challenges and successes, which offer inspiration and information. There are also many early childhood organisations that offer up to date information about what is happening within the early childhood sector and this information is invaluable for staying abreast with current expectations and requirements for people working in or looking to join the field of early childhood.

Have a passion for working with children and families

Be passionate about building and nurturing relationships. An educator is entrusted with one of the most precious gifts a family can offer. Working alongside children is an extremely rewarding job. Knowing that your expertise coupled with the knowledge of families and children's experiences enhances learning outcomes is both inspiring and fulfilling. Early childhood is a time in a child's life when the most significant brain development occurs. Being a part of that journey alongside the child's family is an emotionally enriching opportunity to participate in each day.

Develop a love for learning

Change is embedded within this sector. As new research emerges, changes to practice are inevitable. Ensuring that you are equipped with the knowledge to support children and families relies on you to know what current research says about early childhood development. It is important to realise that we may not know all the answers however a commitment to finding ways of acquiring this knowledge is critical in supporting the way you work with families and children. Your knowledge base as an educator is never reached, the magic of working in this sector is that no two days are the same. Each situation offers new information, more experience and a deeper understanding of ways you can work with children and families.

Develop the ability to be reflective

Be open to new possibilities. There are no certainties when people are involved. Understanding the way you work with families and the need to be responsive to the individual needs and uniqueness of each family can only be achieved through reflecting on your practice in a systematic way. Developing this skill during your studies will enable you to think about the knowledge you gain during your study and apply it with an understanding of context. Reflection will help you to know yourself deeper and enable you to move to a space of looking for possibilities rather than finding the right way of doing things.

Know that this field opens many doors

Don't limit yourself to one facet of early childhood. Working within a centre is just one opportunity gained from qualifying as an educator. In my career I have been able to use my experience as an early childhood educator to gain access to some remarkable and memorable opportunities within the sector. Explore your options and become aware of the different roles that this study option provides. Becoming an educator is a significant career in making a difference in a children's and family's life. Be prepared to be challenged, be prepared for hard days but most of all be prepared to have the most rewarding and soul enriching experiences of your life. I know I certainly have.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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