Early Childhood Education

Not all gluesticks and naptime.

You're here because want to teach tiny, adorable children, before they're corrupted and jaded by high school and—even worse—middle school.

Hey, we don't blame you. It's rewarding to enrich young minds with the most brilliant art projects and snack times in the history of ever. We applaud your ambition, and have designed this course in order to help you realistically achieve your Play Doh-filled dreams. Early childhood ed. can be intense in ways you might not even be able to imagine right now (hint: it involves filling out paperwork and cleaning up spills), so we'll prepare you in a year-long course.

In just five units, we'll be hitting all of the following:

  • A quick-but-thorough overview on childhood development, from birth through to age eight
  • Tools to track and objectively record developmental milestones—basically, the stuff your dreams are made of
  • Activities based on real-life classroom scenarios
  • Goal-setting techniques and practice
  • Communication tactics to maintain healthy—and hopefully even fun—relationships with your students' families
  • Coworker relationship maintenance ideas
  • Self-care practices; now that you're here, we certainly don't want you prematurely leaving the early childhood education world

With the completion of this course, you'll be ready to stride confidently into that classroom and rock it like a seasoned pro. Just, uh, complete our course, graduate, and then get a teaching degree, and you'll be ready to run a second grade classroom like a mighty totalitarian.

Unit Breakdown

  1. Early Childhood Education - Growing Up: Early Childhood Development

    If you want to teach young'uns, you've got to know what's going on with their development in the earliest years—it'll make teaching way more pleasurable. Trust us. In this unit, we'll move from infancy all the way up through eight years of age, focusing on developmental milestones, atypical development, and learning disabilities in young students.

  2. Early Childhood Education - And Then What Happened?

    Unit 2 is all about tracking the development we studied over in Unit 1, with the aid of three little tools—screenings, assessments, and evaluations. If that's not enough to stoke your fire, we'll also learn about building and maintaining copacetic relations with families, and clearly defining and understanding the difference between objectivity and subjectivity. In our opinion, this unit covers the most crucial parts of teaching. But we're just being…subjective.

  3. Early Childhood Education - Do As I Say…and Do

    Everybody dance now. If you're into barking commands, this unit's for you—Unit 3 focuses on direct and indirect guidance, and how you can influence your students through everything from your tone of voice to classroom arrangement. Plus, we'll get into Shmoop's fave—behavior modification. By the time this unit's through, you'll never look at a time out corner the same way again.

  4. Early Childhood Education - Classroom Communication

    In Unit 4, the name of the game is communication. And not just with infants, toddlers, and all the way up to chatty elementary schoolers—we'll also discuss the ins and outs of effective communication with parents and coworkers, too. After learning the Shmoop way of communication, you'll be able to brainwash America's youth with ease. Yay?

  5. Early Childhood Education - Staying Positively Balanced

    Capping off this semester is Unit 5, "Staying Positively Balanced," in which we'll take a breather—sort of. This unit's dedicated to self-care, chill relationships with fellow educators, and avoiding early burnout. No one said teaching was easy, and now that you're here, we want you to stay. That's why this unit's all about the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and really examining who you want to become as an educator. No mirrors required.

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