Learning and implementing age appropriate practices have greatly improved the daily atmosphere in my classroom, and have guided me to become a better educator. A day in the life of an early childhood educator in a child care center typically consists of a meticulously well-planned day of fostering education-via-play that meets the needs of each individual child.


Many enter the field of child care because of their love for children...and love for children is certainly very important in this field. However, providing high quality early learning experiences for our youngest children requires more than love. Among other things, it requires an understanding of child development as well as skill in working with families, humor, and a healthy dose of patience!


The phrase "letter of intent" has multiple meanings depending upon the person using the terminology. Letters of intent in your job search can be considered the same as "application letters" or "cover letters".


Diverse experiences can count. Teachers do indeed spend a lot of time in the classroom instructing a subject. However, spending time with diverse audiences will help you prepare for your career. Diversity includes culture, religion, and thought. Learning something different gives you depth of knowledge, and an appreciation of others. Consider study abroad, service projects or learning a skill that stretches you.


So what are administrators expecting from you as they examine your paperwork, read your reference letters, conduct your interviews, consider your portfolio, and see you teach a lesson? We asked that question to a number of administrators in Western Pennsylvania not too long ago, and here are the most important qualities they seek, in no particular order:


The 2017 AAEE Job Search Handbook for Educators contains an article on page 35 titled Know the New Education Reform Initiatives. Yet, this article only touches on some of the issues, terms, and acronyms you need to know. And one of the initiatives in this article, "Race to the Top (RTTT)," is a program under President Obama. Does it still exist with President Obama no longer in office? That's what you, as a future educator, should know.


While school administrators want to see your passion to be a teacher, your writing never needs more than one exclamation point per sentence!!! One exclamation point indicates passion as effectively as two or three or four or five or ... you get the idea. Would you use multiple question marks??? Multiple apostrophes '''??? Looks sloppy and unprofessional, don't you think? Yes, it does!


I believe the word kids can express a genuine warmth and passion for teaching students. You may feel the same. But if you are interviewing with a professional who feels that word is disrespectful, your opinion will not matter.


No matter what stage of your career you are in, keep your eyes, ears--and heart--open to finding "your person." Why? Because you are called to a profession with quite a daunting task: educating, supporting, and loving the children and youth who are our future.


Today, take ten minutes to create--or better manage--your personal branding campaign. Make this a 3-4 times a week habit and you'll be building a solid, professional reputation in no time. A few ideas to get your started:


The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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