Follow these simple tips for online child development courses to become a more effective early childhood educator.
Online child development courses allow you to begin or advance your rewarding career in early childhood education. Health education, child behavior, and parent communication are just a few of the interesting topics you will study as you become a better teacher and caregiver. These five tips will help you succeed in your online child development courses.
1. Set Goals
Before you begin taking online child development courses, set personal goals for what you hope to learn. If you are just beginning your education, you would not expect to be leading a classroom on your own by next week. On the other hand, if you are already working as a teacher and don’t create a series of goals for mastering certain childcare skills, you may miss out on exciting career opportunities in the future.
Take time to sit down and write out goals that are SMART. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based—all traits that make your goals easier to accomplish. Talk with your supervisor to make sure your timeline and goals fit your professional development plan. If you are just starting your education, you can talk to staff members at schools or childcare facilities you hope to work at one day for their advice on the goals you should set.
2. Learn to be Organized
Learning to be organized in your online child development courses will help when it’s time for you to manage a classroom. Use an online calendar, such as Google Calendar, to keep track of your lesson deadlines. You should also place your SMART education goals on your calendar.
Organization also applies to the notes you take. Many students think that if a class is online, they don’t need to write anything down. Taking detailed notes in your online child development courses will help you review for tests and learning assessments, but it can also pay off in the long run. Early childhood education is constantly changing, so you might be learning new childcare tips that you will want to share with future co-workers. Typing up your notes and saving them to a cloud-based service like Google Drive will help you share your key takeaways.
3. Create a Study Routine
The best early education teachers and caregivers know how to make routines for their children because learning is easier with structure. You can make your own learning easier by creating strong study routines for your online child development courses. A routine can be hard to replicate outside of an actual classroom unless you are disciplined enough to make your own.
Schedule time to complete your online lessons each week, and arrange other commitments so you will not be interrupted by life’s distractions. If you are currently employed as a teacher or caregiver, find time for your classes when children are napping or after they are no longer under your supervision.
4. Recruit a Mentor
Shadowing an early childhood educator at a local preschool or childcare center is a great way to see the things you’re learning in class applied in real-life teaching situations. Find a teacher who is loved by both parents and children and ask her to be your mentor. Spend time with her around children and meet one-on-one afterwards to discuss lesson plans, classroom management, and the things you are learning in your classes.
5. Supplement Your Classes
If your courses are required by your employer or a degree program, it’s unlikely that you are able to choose exactly what you wanted to learn. Branch out by taking additional online child development classes on topics you find interesting to expand your skills and keep your education interesting.
Start by finding courses that directly apply to the age group you plan to work with, such as infant, toddler, or preschool. Different age groups require different teaching skills, so your learning goals should be specific to your future students. Then find topics that make you curious. Consider these additional courses a fun kind of “homework” that helps you stay passionate about your career.
If you want to learn more about online child development courses, contact Naptime Academy at 844-435-7682. We offer a wide range of courses that help child care providers grow personally and professionally.