When you work alongside children, you’ll face challenges that you wouldn’t face around adults. In addition, you’ll have a different experience working with young children than you would have with children that are older. Anyone considering working in a field that would require them to be around children, like at the French nursery Islington, will want to make sure they have these five essential skills.
The reason that patience is the first skill listed is that it’s the most essential. It’s crucial to remember that children are different from adults. They don’t process information in the same way. It can be difficult to explain things to children in a way that they can understand. It’s likely that you’ll be repeating yourself many times. You’ll have to spend a great deal of time explaining basic concepts. You’ll constantly be distracted. Children will strive to grab your attention. If you’re not a naturally patient person, you’ll become frustrated before long.
2. Being Able to Conceal Your Feelings
Children are smart, and they can notice when your mood changes. That’s why you need to be able to conceal feelings of anger or frustrations. This doesn’t mean you need a smile plastered to your face all day long. If a child acts out, you can let them know you’re unhappy with their behaviour. However, if children request that you read their favourite book for the 10th time in a row, you’ll want to hide your displeasure. You need to make sure children can’t see when you’re tired, angry or bored.
3. The Ability to Stay Calm
If children see that an adult is afraid, they’ll be afraid too. This can compound a difficult situation. That’s why you need to find a way to stay calm when you’re dealing with challenges, even if you’re surrounded by chaos. If you want to work with kids, particularly large groups of children, you need to be able to stay calm and serene in challenging situations. You should keep in mind that children will focus on you when they’re trying to decide how they should behave.
4. Communication Skills
It’s common for adults to think that they must “dumb down” what they’re saying when speaking to children. This isn’t true, and it can lead to problems. Instead, adults should focus on using child-friendly examples when they’re explaining a concept. A great way is by telling them a story or presenting them with an example that they can relate to.
5. Being Enthusiastic
If you don’t enjoy being around children, you’ll have a hard time working alongside them. It’s easy for children to sense an adult’s discomfort. In fact, some kids may try to take advantage of that. You should be excited about the concepts you’re attempting to teach to children. If you seem bored or unhappy, the children you’re working with may feel the same way.
If you want to work with children, you’ll want to make sure you have all five of these skills. Think about whether or not you’re equipped to work with children before pursuing this career path.