education

First lessons

Not a child’s play: A nursery teacher is responsible for preparing a child for a successful transition to primary school


The lowdown


A nursery teacher’s job is to focus on the overall personality ­development of a child. This involves developing work schemes and lesson plans to motivate children, and imaginatively using resources to help them learn. He/she is also responsible for ­developing the social and communication skills of children and providing a safe and secure environment in which they can learn. Basically, a nursery teacher’s ­responsibility is to create a home away from home for her ­students. The major part of the job includes the development of five important aspects of a child’s personality — cognitive development, speech and ­language ­development, physical development, social development and ­emotional development. Besides this, they also build and maintain ­relationships with parents/guardians to further support pupils as well as ­operate within multi-agency networks to ensure that the correct ­support is available. Hence, in the early years of a child, teachers play a crucial role in preparation for a successful transition to primary school education

Clockwork
While there are days of special ­activities which are planned in the beginning of every month, a typical day of a nursery teacher looks something like this:
9am: Reach school. Go through the day’s plan
9.10am: Receive the children
9.10am to 9.30am: Go through the routine of saying prayers and singing the national anthem, followed by warm up exercises and recitation of rhymes
9.30am to 12pm: Conduct play activities with kids
12 to 1.30 pm: Plan for the next day, review the day’s activities

The ­payoff
The salary of a school teacher varies from state to state and school to school. Remuneration is great in terms of job satisfaction. However it may not be commensurate with the labour involved, as a nursery school is not part of the organised sector

Skills/TRAITS
* Love for young children
* A great deal of energy is required
* Pleasing and engaging ­personality with the knack and patience to connect with a child and ensure his/her progress
* Resourcefulness, creativity and flexiblility combined with time management skills
* Ability to understand a child’s ­psychology and frame of mind

Getting there
The starting point would be the nursery teacher training (NTT) offered as a vocational course at many ­recognised institutes. Other options would be Early Childhood and Care Education (ECCE) offered as a ­distance learning programme at IGNOU

Institutes and URLs
* National Academy of Teacher’s Training, New Delhi
www.natt.in
* Ramakrishna Teacher Training Institute, New Delhi
www.rktti.edu.in
* Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
www.ignou.ac.in/ignou/aboutignou/school/soce/programmes/detail/238/2
* University of Delhi
http://fyup.du.ac.in/disciplinecourses/HomeScienceDCII-HDCS/DC%20II%20%20HDCS.pdf

Pros and cons
* Fixed working hours but no ­overtime
* Less financially lucrative as ­compared to other jobs
* Offers good social status
* Immense job satisfaction
* You enjoy various holidays
* It’s great working with children
* You can devote ample time to your family, as the job offers a good work-life balance

The biggest challenge for a nursery teacher is to win a child’s heart. The abiding desire to bring a difference in a child’s life and give him/her wings, is what keeps a nursery teacher ticking ----Meera Budhiraja, principal, ­Nestlings Playschool, New Delhi

 

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