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Goals for Preschool Teachers: Examples & Ideas
How long is a child’s development journey? How do you impact this journey as a preschool teacher? A child’s development milestone begins right from birth. 85% to 90% of a child’s brain matures by the age of five. After this period, they are ready to learn and start developing a set of skills—speaking, social, academic, and emotional intelligence.
Preschool teachers play an integral role in ensuring continuity of this development journey when children reach five. As an early childhood development educator, parents put huge trust in you to help their children develop into responsible citizens. This responsibility is far much greater than you can anticipate, especially if you’re just launching your career. That’s why it’s imperative to have a more in-depth insight into all facets of early childhood milestones.
It all starts by defining and understanding professional goals for preschool teachers. So, what do these goals entail? What’s your input into this process? Here is a quick guide to see you through.
What are Professional Development Goals?
Professional development goals are objectives that expand your knowledge or skill set in a preschool teaching career. It’s not about checking boxes in your must-do list but rather a dynamic process of learning, growing, and advancing your career—it’s a lifelong journey as long as you’re teaching.
Commitment to these goals will help you build morale and love your work. You’ll also find it easy to interact with children from all walks of life, giving them personalized attention.
Example Goals for Preschool Teachers
Professional development goals for preschool teachers can be either short or long-term. Goals will vary from classroom to classroom and the teaching environment. Nevertheless, they all bend towards achieving a common overarching goal—help you improve your teaching and deliver the best experience to your preschool students.
These goals include the following:
Building Trust With Students
If preschool children are going to evolve into honest, responsible citizens, building trust with them is your top priority—probably the most important smart goal for preschool teachers.
All your students are probably under seven years.
This is an impressionable stage where preschool children develop feelings and attitudes towards their teachers and the overall teaching process. All this determines whether they’ll focus on other goals such as cognitive and emotional development journeys.
So, how do you achieve this critical goal? It’s all-important to forge positive relationships with your preschool students. It starts by ensuring the school environment is welcoming and nurturing. Children will also be more free around you if the classroom ambiance is safe.
Ensure that you build rapport with each student to understand their individual needs. This will help you develop easy-to-follow routines without crossing paths with the children. Eventually, you’ll earn their respect and proceed to the next professional development goals for preschool teachers.
Building social and interpersonal skills to encourage socialization among your preschool students is a critical goal for a teacher. Realizing this goal will see your students interacting effectively with their peers. They’ll also be comfortable and at peace in a school setting.
Moreover, social competence affects how preschool students can follow directives, rules, and regulations. It also has a great impact on concentration span development and attentiveness in class. Teachers can do the following to encourage socialization at the preschool stage:
- Teach preschool students how to solve disagreements without anger
- Set rules that inculcate patience when waiting for the teacher’s instructions
- Take preschool children out to play in structured groups
- Encourage social-centric activities for fostering relationships
- Ensure preschool children demonstrate care and concern for their peers
Improve Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Preschool teachers help their students develop fine and gross motor skills daily. It is a crucial goal that enables children to feel confident as they advance their learning and skills. This builds morale and proficiency in simple tasks, such as feeding, grooming, and solving problems.
Fine and gross motor skills also help preschool children develop strong coordination and balance. This can help them play, climb on structures, and hit targets. Essentially, gross motor skills also play an integral role in overall physical development.
So, where should your focus be when helping your preschool students build fine and gross motor skills? You can plan challenging activities for preschool children, such as crafting. This helps them develop creative ideas and learn how to share space and materials.
You can also:
- Mark table spots with individual names to develop memory
- Set puzzle games every week
- Help the children master their physical addresses
- Indulge preschool children in math games to build counting skills
Another essential cognitive skill goal is hand-eye coordination. This skill is critical for preschool children to engage in physical activities. Moreover, they help them perform basic activities such as reaching for items on their desks or grabbing a ball when playing. Preschool children can improve hand-eye coordination skills by playing catch or balloon batting.
Build Independence and Self-Confidence in Your Students
Preschool children should build independence and self-confidence to help them achieve other overarching goals of early childhood development. As a teacher, you should be there to support and enrich this primary goal.
Remember, you want these children to leave your care at the preschool center when ready and confident for the oncoming transitions. To achieve this, help them build confidence in what they already know and love to do. Independent skills kick in when they pursue new adventures.
Start by praising preschool children for their efforts. It can be solving a puzzle or remembering their physical addresses. You should also give them time and opportunity to overcome their challenges when trying to solve simple problems.
For instance, if they can’t develop a creative idea today when crafting, it doesn’t mean they won’t succeed in their second attempt. Help the children understand that practicing and embracing flaws will help them gain confidence.
Set Your Students Up for Future Academic Success
After helping preschool children develop their social and gross motor skills, it’s time to set them up for future academic success. At this stage, your plan should include all academic basics, such as number skills and language development.
Most experts advise that language goals are most critical when setting up preschool students for academic excellence. This is because language is the bloodline of learning. Whether the student understands what you teach them depends on their language mastery.
In your teaching plan, include the development of basic letters, sounds, and words. This goal helps preschool children understand the greater concept of language. It also develops their ability to communicate with teachers and peers.
The most basic language goal should be helping preschool children identify and pronounce their names correctly. Remember, some of them use nicknames at home. Starting school for them means learning how to pronounce their official name for the first time. You would want to ensure they write their name on literally anything they interact with, including worksheets and coloring pages.
After that, you should consider expanded vocabulary awareness as your long-term goal. The more preschool children learn new words, the more they get interested in engaging in conversations. Some will even want to show off what they learned at school when they get home.
Other goals that can help you set up your preschool students for future academic excellence include:
- Encourage dedicated reading lessons every day
- Indulge preschool children in dramatic plays to develop imaginations
- Focus on rectifying grammatical mistakes
- Develop learning goals for individual preschool children
Professional Goals for Preschool Teachers
A teaching career has many dimensions, which can be pretty overwhelming. If you’re going to realize the above goals, you have to make decisions on several factors. These decisions are not life-binding; you can always readjust.
But first, you’ll need to define your needs. For instance, where do you want to teach after finishing your early childhood development education training? Do you want to start your own center or join an already established institution?
The path that you take will have a great influence on your development as a preschool teacher. For instance, joining an established preschool center means you can learn from other experienced teachers. Dealing with children can be pretty hectic, not to mention it requires patience.
Sometimes, it’s better to get insights from someone who understands the job better than you. On the other hand, starting your own center means you can grow your career rapidly without limitations from “your boss”—you’re the executive here.
Also, you can set your professional development goals without adhering to stringent regulations from a management team. In other words, you set the policy while having the interest of preschool learners in mind. Have these considerations in mind to decide how you want to kick start your preschool teaching career.
Want to Know More About Teaching Preschool?
As you can see, a preschool teaching career is an important profession in society. It molds children into who they become after growing up. If a child wants to become a doctor or an engineer, it’s your role as a preschool teacher to help them develop into that person from a tender age. Doesn’t that sound noble?
Do you want to know more about starting and advancing a career in preschool teaching? We have the resources to help you quench your curiosity. Read other articles on our site to understand how you can improve your skills and insights into this practice.