There isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for your students, which is why you’re completely enraptured with your career in early childhood education. Through all of the rewards and challenges, you still haven’t lost that spark you had on day one.
In fact, that spark has ignited a flame that now has you burning to do whatever it takes to improve as a teacher. You’re wondering if going back to school to advance your education will make an even bigger impact in your students’ lives.
But despite how much you desire to grow as an educator, you still have one pressing question: Will a master’s degree in early childhood education be worth it?
The truth is a master’s degree in early childhood education (ECE) is more than just an extra line on your resume. Keep reading to see how it can activate a positive change in your teaching and to those who matter most – your students.
6 Ways a master’s degree in early childhood education will make you a better educator
You’ll learn cultural sensitivity skills that promote equity and esteem for young learners
A master’s degree in early childhood education can enhance your cultural awareness and sensitivity in ways you can directly apply to your classroom. Integrating culture in the classroom is extremely valuable to the development of your little learners, as exposing children to cultural differences at an early age teaches them to value and appreciate differences, rather than dismiss them.
With an anti-bias curriculum, an intrinsic appreciation of differences can displace feelings of superiority, oppressive ideologies and ethnocentrism. This helps all young students, especially those who may have felt the effects of stereotypes.
Because young children construct their sense of self by acknowledging similarities and differences between themselves and others, it is all the more important to encourage an appreciation of differences within the classroom. Your master’s degree will provide you with the training and strategy to effectively execute this lesson.
2. You’ll understand the importance of community involvement for nourishing young minds
A master’s degree in ECE will also allow you to cultivate a sense of community involvement in your classroom setting. Community—in the sense of quality connections, rather than individuals of close proximity—serves as an essential but often overlooked element in early childhood education.
Research shows that children flourish within the confines of a strong community setting. The security, support and sense of belonging children experience in a close community environment allows them to thrive. Your master’s degree curriculum will prepare you to develop your community-fostering abilities in order to build a strong learning environment for your students.
You’ll master the strategy and nuance of effective curriculum design
This graduate program will also train you to better design and execute effective curriculum models. You’ll improve the effectiveness of your teaching through various types of curriculum design, including creative curriculum, developmental interaction approach and Montessori education.
By learning to build curriculum around strategized processes, prioritized content and child development theory, you’ll promote uniformity in teaching techniques and predictable child outcomes within your classroom.
You’ll hone your observation and assessment skills to make yourself more effective
As an early childhood educator, your observation and assessment abilities will be enhanced with a master’s degree. Observation, or gathering evidence of growth in a natural setting (such as an early childhood classroom), allows teachers to assess behaviors in a more realistic manner within the context of the classroom.
By honing your observation and assessment abilities, you’ll be able to better observe all aspects of your students, including those that pertain to emotional, social, physical and cultural development. This tactic produces data that can be much more valuable than the data derived from standardized exams.
Improving your observation and assessment skills will help you harvest valuable insights into student development that can further inform the learning techniques you employ in the classroom. This will allow you to better meet the individual needs of your students and attain goals for improvement.
You’ll develop teaching techniques that adapt to each learning style
As a teacher, you strive to provide each student with the learning environment and modality that helps them succeed academically. Learning styles differ from child to child, but different teaching techniques can be woven throughout your lessons so that concepts reach each child effectively.
You’ll become a compassionate and purposeful commander of your classroom
As an ECE graduate student, you’ll learn new procedures, strategies and teaching techniques that will help you foster a healthy learning environment. Developing this comprehensive understanding of your classroom environment will only enhance the performance of you and your students.
Research indicates that teachers are the single most effective factor affecting student outcomes, so it becomes all the more critical for you to facilitate a productive and effective classroom management style, which can be enhanced in an early childhood education master’s program.
Now, how will you become the teacher you always wanted to be?
We’re just scratching the surface of the ways a master’s degree in early childhood education can benefit your classroom and your students. Education is your passion—so this is your chance to further yours to become the teacher you were you meant to be.
Now the only question that remains is this: What are you waiting for? Check out the Wheelock College Early Childhood Education graduate degree page to learn how we can help you take your teaching to the next level.