My Advice For People That Want To Work With Children

I must warn you that if you are thinking about working with children, it’s not for everyone. Whether you are planning to be a teacher, nanny, PSA or even set up a creche, you’ll be faced with many challenges. I think the biggest problem here is that many people believe if you’re a mom, you’ll automatically be good at working with children.  To work with kids I think you need to be patient, understand the difficulties and know how to be a figure of authority. With that in mind here are my tips for those hoping to work with today’s youth.

Sammy teaching kindergarten

Your first step is deciding on the path you’re going to take to work with kids. For instance, if you want to work in a school and you have a degree you can sign up for a one-year teaching course. After that, you’ll start gaining experience, first hand in the classroom. If you are thinking about being a teaching assistant or preschool teacher, you will require less training. But, you will need to understand the responsibility you’re taking on. Teaching assistants often work with children who have special needs such as ADD and on some days may face bigger challenges than the teacher. If you want to be a nanny, you still need qualifications. You will have to take one of the early childhood courses available in your area. By doing this, you’ll gain all the information you need to work with kids. The experience will come later.

Understand Modern Challenges

The world has changed, not always for the better. Teachers, parents and anyone else whose life revolves around children are facing new difficulties. Self harm has doubled in the last year in children under 16. Researchers believe the number could be as high as seventy percent of all children will self-harm at some point in their life. Bullying is also on the rise but now takes place outside of the classroom, online. If you’re working with children you can’t underestimate the effects these issues can have. Bullying victims can believe suicide is their only option if the issue is not dealt with. Children don’t self harm for no reason and there will be an underlying cause. If you take on a duty of care, it’s your responsibility to notice the signs and help the child in need.

Know Who You Have To Be

If you’re working with children, it’s important you know what and who you have to be. As much as you may want to, if you are working in a school, you shouldn’t strive to be the child’s friend. Instead, you should be someone they can look up to and that they can trust. Perhaps most importantly, you should be someone they respect. You must be careful when walking the line between being a child’s friend and an authoritative figure.

I hope you find this information valuable. Remember, when you start working with children, you will be a part of what shapes who they are and who they become.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Be Yourself

Just imagine how many problems we could solve it we all took Emerson’s advice.  I certainly see this every day in my classroom, where 13 and 14-year-olds posture and prepare themselves with the ‘right’ answer, or the appropriate reaction.  I see this with adults, when they try to say the ‘right’ thing, afraid to speak their minds for fear of retribution. 

We see it in the media, when celebrities do what it takes to get noticed, land the next big role or ink an endorsement contract.  Have you noticed the difference between men and women who try to be themselves?  It seems fine, as long as we fit into the stereotypical gender roles, but when we step out of them….labelling, here we come. 

Bullies see this, too – and they pounce on those trying to find themselves, calling out what they see as weakness when if you really think about it, should be seen as strengths.  They prey on the ‘unique’ kids who show up their own fears about letting their true selves shine brightly. 

Voters notice who is trying to be their true selves, and we wonder if any of the sensationalism that swirls around politicians has any grain of truth at all.  We see the bickering, name calling, and sometimes shallow decision making of our country and wonder if there is anyone we can really believe.

So if there is one thing we can do in our day, with our students, our children, or our friends and colleagues, I would wish that we look at each other for who we really are, not who we believe the world thinks we should be. 

Just imagine what that kind of day would feel like. 

Do you struggle to be yourself?  Who does the world think you should be?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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