Preschool teachers tell us that they read TYC because it shares stories by and about real teachers. Here are some ways to share your stories and establish mutually respectful and professional relationships with fellow teachers.
Display your practice. Take photos and videos that document children’s learning during interesting activities. You can organize photos into topics such as the program’s garden, fitness, and popular children’s books. Add captions that pinpoint learning and pose questions such as What vegetables are we growing in the garden? Arrange photos on a bulletin board, post them online, or share the photos and videos on DVDs.
Become a mentor. Your ideas and confidence could help a new teacher. Connect with a less experienced teacher you know or meet someone new at a program close by. Make a point to listen to their good ideas as well as discussing yours.
Talk with future teachers. Help early childhood students learn more about the profession by visiting high schools, community colleges, or universities to talk about the average day at a preschool program. Be sure to invite them to visit your classroom so they can see firsthand how children learn.
Find a buddy. Share your practice over coffee or brunch and arrange to visit each other’s classrooms. Discuss your favorite practices and share the challenges you face in the classroom. Learn from your partner, while your partner learns from you.
Start an early childhood study club. Identify fellow teachers who are committed to lifelong learning. Pick a topic you want to learn more about. Then read professional books, conduct research, view videos, network, and otherwise collect information to share. Get together once a month to discuss lessons learned and highlight each other’s experiences.
Plan and deliver a workshop. Share effective teaching practices at staff meetings, through webinars, or at local or national conferences. Be sure to keep the needs of adult learners in mind as you design and deliver the workshop. Include plenty of time for participants to ask questions and share their successful strategies.
Get involved with your NAEYC Affiliate. Attend meetings, join committees, volunteer, and network with fellow preschool teachers at your local NAEYC Affiliate. You’ll be able to share and learn from colleagues and build professional relationships with peers and potential mentors.
Write for TYC. The TYC editors are always looking for practical suggestions to share with readers. Learn how to submit an article or activity plan at www.naeyc.org/publications/forauthors/writetyc.
Join an NAEYC Interest Forum. NAEYC members have access to the early childhood Interest Forums located in the Members Only area. Some topics include science, technology, and family child care. Find one that interests you and share your expertise.
Go digital. Write a blog about your practice and what keeps you inspired. Spread the word by pinning your ideas on Pinterest, tweeting them on Twitter, posting on Facebook, and participating in Google Hangouts. TYC