The human brain develops most rapidly during early childhood. The lessons, skills and character traits children learn when they’re little set up the foundation for their entire lives.
That’s why teachers are so important, and why Primrose Schools® works hard to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.
“Early childhood educators are the designers of the future,” says Dr. Maria Shaheen, senior director of early childhood education for Primrose Schools. “Every child has the possibility to do amazing things when they grow up, if they have the opportunity, skills and nurturing they need — and that’s what early childhood educators provide.”
Backed by lesson plans from the Balanced Learning® curriculum, teachers at Primrose schools educate, nurture, comfort, play, sing and laugh every day.
To celebrate teachers at Primrose schools and all they do for the children in their classrooms, we’re highlighting six roles (of many) of these talented individuals.
What teachers do: Parent Communicator
Why it matters: When parents and teachers work together, children benefit
Teachers are parents’ teammates in helping them raise a happy, healthy child. Teachers communicate daily with parents and provide regular updates on each child’s development. They offer suggestions and reassurance that help parents feel supported and empowered.
“The school really becomes part of the extended family and the teacher becomes a trusted friend,” Shaheen says. “Early childhood educators shepherd children through the first stages of life, and they provide guidance and support for parents, too.”
What teachers do: Story Reader
Why it matters: Early literacy skills are crucial for academic success
When people imagine what an early childhood educator does, they probably think of story time — a teacher turning pages and showing pictures, surrounded by children sitting in a half-circle. But story time is just the beginning.
Primrose’s Balanced Learning® curriculum builds the foundation for language, reading and writing in many ways, starting in the infant classroom. Teachers are trained in the importance of back-and-forth communication with infants, who develop language by “talking” with adults through sounds, facial expressions, babbling and singing. Teachers help toddlers build their vocabulary and practice phonological awareness with preschoolers, pre-kindergartners and kindergartners.
These early literacy lessons lay the groundwork for children to begin reading.
What teachers do: Imagination Supporter
Why it matters: Fostering creativity helps children become complex thinkers
Children think deeply about the world around them, and they aren’t restricted by assumptions about how things should work. This makes them creative and imaginative thinkers, qualities that teachers at Primrose schools encourage. That’s why the Balanced Learning curriculum includes design thinking, in which children are prompted to think about the “why” and “what if” of the day’s activity, whether they’re testing a science hypothesis, designing an upcycled art project or creating something from their imagination.
“A teacher can either tell a child, this is how it works and this is how you do it, or help them test their own theories about how the world works,” Shaheen says. “Teachers at Primrose schools do the latter, which helps children develop creatively and cognitively.”
What teachers do: Bear Hugger
Why it matters: Children need to feel safe and loved to thrive
Teachers play an important role in supporting children’s growth. When children feel safe, loved and confident, they can learn and grow to their fullest potential. Research shows that the impact of stressors from a child’s home life can be mitigated by even one nurturing adult, such as a teacher.
“The safety, security and bear hugs are the foundation,” Shaheen says. “None of the learning happens without that love and trust.”
What teachers do: New Food Champion
Why it matters: Early nutrition paves the way for healthy habits
Children are notoriously picky eaters, and it’s often a struggle to make sure they get the healthy food they need. Teachers work with children to “try one bite” and explain how the different food groups, especially fruits and vegetables, help them grow healthy and strong.
Teachers often have a special touch when it comes to new foods, Shaheen says. “We hear all the time from families who say, my child will only eat broccoli at Primrose, and not at home.”
What teachers do: Happy Gram Writer
Why it matters: Children and parents should be celebrated for who they are
Teachers communicate with parents in a daily report that details what the child did during the day, along with photos or video. On occasion, teachers also write a “Happy Gram” to parents detailing something special the child accomplished. A teacher may write that a child was especially kind to another child who was struggling, that they’ve been doing a great job writing their name, or that they learned to tie their shoes.
These keepsakes serve as an important memory for the family, and teachers craft them with love.
“People who go into the teaching profession, particularly early childhood, tend to be very giving, kind people,” Shaheen says. “Primrose school teachers embody the character development traits we value at Primrose and teach children every day.”