I began my work with children at a preschool a week ago and in my time with them, I have learned a few things that I wish somebody would have told me before I decided to step inside that classroom.
First of all, greet the shy and reserved kids with enthusiasm and encourage them to work with you. I did the opposite on the first day.
I initially did not make any effort to engage the children who were shy because I did not want to overwhelm them. I waited for them to come to me at their own pace but then it came to mind that they mistook my reticence as being unwelcoming and thus, they became shy towards me from then on.
Greeting every child with enthusiasm will make them more likely to work with you and approach you. I found that if I talked to them more, even if they did not reply, they would find their voice sooner or later and became more open with me.
When you work with children, you must not force them to do things they do not want to do even if it is a required school work or task. Sometimes, outbursts occur because a child is being forced to do a task he or she is not yet ready for at that very moment.
Instead of forcing them and dragging them to the table and away from the toys, make a deal with them. If one of them tells you "I don't want to work," reply with, "How about working later?"
More often than not, the answer will be in the affirmative. Compromise makes for a happy and content child as well as accomplished seatwork.
Always ask the young ones questions as to whether they need help in doing something or not. Some kids for instance struggle with their juice boxes and do not ask for help until they spill their drink on the floor.
There was one instance wherein a boy told me he was going to go to the bathroom. I assumed he could go by himself but that was not the case; he did not know how to unbutton or unzip his pants and wound up wetting himself.
"Do you need help?" is the question to be familiar with when you want to work with children.
Good and Bad Behavior
Always give the proper response to the appropriate behavior. If the child has done something wrong, immediately scold them for it.
If you scold them for bad behavior an hour after it was committed, the child will have no idea what they did wrong. There are always some kids who do not follow their teachers especially if they think you are a softy, which is why you should not be afraid to use a stern voice in getting them to obey rules.
The same thing goes for good behavior. Do not use a hard voice when complimenting or awarding work because then, they will be confused if you are pleased or not.
Hopefully, the kids you will deal with won't all be difficult. If they are, try to find your stern voice as well as your encouraging voice and work from there.
In other industries, here's an article on things you need to know about working in the food industry.