My oldest daughter has wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I always thought that when she graduated from high school she would go to college and become a teacher. Well, she graduated in 2014 and promptly decided she didn't want to go to a 4 year college. She wanted to go to a local community college AND she wanted to be a preschool teacher. While I was a bit disappointed, I was also happy that she would still be at home with her father and I.
With teachers being some of our children’s greatest role models, many children declare that they would like to be one when they grow up. The world can always use dedicated teachers, so this is a wonderful and honorable job to encourage in a child who expresses that desire. What can a parent do to encourage their young one when it is stated that teaching is their goal?
A good place to start in encouraging your budding teacher is to make a point of asking them lots of questions. Every good teacher is a deep thinker, and asking your child many questions about various topics will encourage them to think things through.
No matter what age your child is, ask them questions that get the wheels in their mind turning. If you have a young child, ask them why the sky looks blue. If you have an older child who is an aspiring teacher, involve them in discussions about events on the news as well as the media coverage surrounding the event.
Give Them a Positive Experience as a Student
It is likely that if your child has a desire to be a teacher, they have had positive interactions with one or more of their teachers. Even so, continue to find them the opportunity to be a student to a great teacher. It is amazing what our children can learn from observing good teaching in action. This also strengthens their desire to teach, because they will want to pass along the great experience to others.
Give Them Opportunities to Teach
When a child wants to teach, there are plenty of chances for them to learn through experience. If your child has a younger sibling, set up a scenario where he (or she) can put together a lesson for them and help them learn something specific. Maybe your budding teacher will help a toddler learn the alphabet, or colors, or types of animals. Perhaps your budding teacher will teach their younger pupil something specifically related to his or her area of interest.
Let opportunities like this happen both naturally and formally. A child who wants to be a teacher will soak up these opportunities with enthusiasm. It will be enjoyable for you as a parent to watch these sessions, as bonding and learning happen at the same time.
If the workplace permits it, see if your budding teacher can tag along with someone in that profession for a day. If you are a teacher, bring your child on career day and allow them to see you teach. Watching you or another teacher up close is an exciting opportunity for your child to learn about what goes on in a teacher’s day.
Whatever age your budding teacher may be, there are many ways to encourage and cultivate this desire. Encouraging a child with a desire to teach is a great way to promote understanding of the field, as well as learning in general. Support your young teacher and help them reach their potential and become the best future teacher they can be.
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