Let’s take some time and talk about education and experience. When you begin to apply for jobs some will say Associates or Bachelors degree preferred or 2-5 years experience. Which is better education or experience?
While education is important I feel that experience sometimes triumphs over education. As you know I am currently in school to become an early childhood educator. While in school I have been working in a daycare for around three and a half years. I feel that I have learned so much more while working here than in school.
A lot of professors in college teach to a test rather than teaching what they feel is the most important and what the children will actually use. I feel that the tests should be made off of what the teacher teaches and the class itself.
I have found one teacher who does not just teach to the test and who does not need to read word for word in the book but instead has a passion for what she is teaching. She teaches future teachers and has taught at different schools with these early childhood children. So when she taught about family involvement she has seen firsthand just what happens in these schools. She is also able to give suggestions that she has seen work at different times. A teacher who has not been inside an early childhood school would not have the same understanding of what happens. Experience shows you that parents can react differently to the same situation. The more experience you have, the better you become at handling these situations. A book cannot teach this.
While working in different day cares I feel that I have gained an enormous amount of experience that will help me throughout my teaching career. I have seen different types of families and children. It is one thing to read a book about families and children but experiencing it firsthand really changes how you think and how you react to different situations with families and their children. Also while working in the day cares I have gotten many ideas that I will use once I have my own classroom. It also allows me to think of various lessons that the children will love!
I believe that experience should go along side education because you really need to make sure that you like what you do before you make it your career. As a future teacher I have had to do many observation hours with different grades and document what I have seen and done with the children. I will also have to student teach for half of the school year to get more experience in the field. Through experience you learn new ways to do different things and new ways to use materials.