People who are good with little kids

Is it possible to make any largely-true generalizations about people who are naturally good with little kids, for whom a kindy job in Taiwan would be a joy, not an ordeal?

Another way to put this is, if a person is very good with kids (can handle a group of them singlehandedly with few problems, can earn their respect and esteem relatively easily), does that usually say something about their personality and life attitude in general?

I know that men who are good with little kids are often VERY attractive to women, especially ones looking for stability rather than fun. I’ve also talked to an elementary school teacher in my home country who thinks an adult’s ability to handle kids (without resorting to being a scary nazi in the classroom) is the ultimate test of self-confidence. Does this idea hold any water?

I enjoy teaching young children, but I much prefer to teach adults. I can muster the patience and ability to see things on their level without much trouble, but there is no intellectual stimulation. It’s mostly about emotional rewards, which isn’t my primary aim in choosing to teach. Teaching adults is decidedly less emotionally rewarding (at least in Taiwan, where you don’t get much in the way of a response), but is endlessly challenging on an intellectual level.

I’d say that you’re right about men who do well with children. They have the ability to put people at ease and make others feel important, which is attractive to everyone, not just women.

I admire folks who prefer to teach little kids, and who do it well. They make the best parents, generally.

i prefer to teach kids. being the fifth of eight left me with an inherent disposition of being comfortable around youngins. however,the longer i am here the clear it is my diet seems to have a heavy influence upon just how well i get on with them. the healthier i eat, the better mentor i am. hung over? not so good. jonesin for a vanilla coca-cola? my malleability really becomes short timed when craving sugar.
this cold weather is interesting. when we get cold we want more calories. that hot milk tea is as good as cocoa. we’ll see.
i don’t do hard drugs. so i cannot say first hand how they effect one’s inherent patience. but, i have seen enough co-workers come in completely fried on something or another and at the end of the day they completely hate the job.

Teaching kindy rocks…I would rather teach kindy than any other type of class.

If you are a good kindy teacher, anything is possible.

Kindy teaching is the easiest for me, but requires a lot of follow through. If you say you are going to do something whether reward or punishment, you had better damn well do it. You also need a schedule and be able to communicate it to the young ones. You’ll see surprisingly little as far as TPR which should be a cornerstone for any class, though it can make you very lazy.

The nazi part has me a bit baffled. I’m strict and if they are screwing off in a class disrupting manner, there getting called on it. For the students who started too late or just aren’t interested in learning English, I cut them some slack. These are usually my worst students.

The important part is to keep it fun and change activities regularly and break them into groups. Though it may go against your boss’s beliefs. You can teach more to a group of 16 in 4 groups/10 minutes a group versus teaching the whole class for 40 minutes and have a better idea where each student is.

You can’t be high, a clown all the time, and/or be a total whiner. I imagne you could do it high, but when you come down around a bunch of excited kids, then it is going to suck. I don’t believe many bosses in Taiwan give “toke breaks.” Being a clown is nice, but once you start, you can never stop, sort of like being on a runaway horse. As they will expect, what you have led them to expect. You can not be a whiner. There is no point in taking the job if you are. If you think they are too young to be in school, too stupid, and/or the material is worthless, then do yourself and your boss a favor and quit.

I don’t know about self sonfidence, I think I’m confident. Most teachers that did well seemed confident and somewhat carefree. The ability to let go of that which does not matter.


I’m fairly self-confident, but the idea of being stuck in a room with a bunch of little kids that aren’t my own… eeeew! It just sounds so fucking DIFFICULT! I prefer easier ways to earn my bread.

People who are obsessed with money, power or image, arrogant, egotistical, obsessive perfectionists or driven to accomplish “greatness” probably don’t qualify. People who are relaxed, easy-going, content in the present and accepting of others are probably more qualified.

But then again, maybe some people just don’t like kids and others do.

Edit: I wrote this before you posted, Sandman, so no offense intended. In any event, I’m glad I included that last sentence.

Hey Sandman,

Don’t be so modest…I bet you can do a wicked cover of “The Wheels on the Bus”! :laughing:

No, my post was serious. I’m not saying I think teaching sprogs is “below me” or anything of that nature. From what I’ve learned about it (never having actually done it), it really does sound like a difficult way to earn a living and my hat’s off to those of you with the ability to interact and communicate with children when you really don’t even want to crack a smile.

And “Wheels of the Bus.” would that be the Coltrane or the Limp Bizkit version?

I always did better with Kindergarten because the kids liked me. I am too boring for older kids and most adults. If you don’t talk down to them, they will love you. I miss my kids.

Teaching kids is great…according to my wife, there is NO connection between liking teaching youn 'uns and being responsible at home :laughing:, however my 9,245,982 girlfriends disagree :smiley::D. I do find that I prefer either first gradish (they are so honest and will fess up to a class infraction voluntarily most of the time) or first year of Jr. High (have had to wander out of a class and howl with laughter on many occasions). The other grade school ages…hmmm, each class is different. We tend to group kids together based on ability, so one trait might be incredible patience with the lower ability classes and one trait might be thinking quickly on your feet with the higher ability classes.

I have some of my littlest ones run and jump into my arms when they see me. I also think I get more respect from the children than some of the other teachers in my school. I think it’s because I am strict, but friendly so if I tell them to do something, it’s never in a mean or angry way. Plus, I love being around children. I especially like preschoolers because they are so affectionate, but elementary school age kids are just as much fun. I also feel more comfortable teaching children than adults. I think part of that is my upbringing. It’s strange to be in charge of people who are older or of a higher social status than me when I would be calling thoes people Mister X or Missus X. I don’t even call my older cousins by just their first names and the same is expected of myy younger cousins for me.
Plus, you can’t hug your adult students regularly nor tickle them and act silly to help cheer them up if they’re having a bad day without raising some eyebrows. I don’t know if I could teach in North America where teachers are not allowed to touch their students affectionately. That would just be strange to not be allowed to even pat a child on the shoulder out of fear of a lawsuit.

Plus, you can’t hug your adult students regularly nor tickle them and act silly to help cheer them up if they’re having a bad day without raising some eyebrows.[/quote]

So THAT’S why all of my adult students left :frowning:.

Yes, acearle and I’m sure you also discovered that Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle books just don’t have the same magic over adult students…

Well, aside from President Bush.

I still have some children’s books memorized from when I first started reading them aloud two years ago. My first class’s favorite was The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR by Don and Audrey Wood (also of The Napping House, another memorized favorite). If I didn’t get it off the bookshelf for circle time, I always had a few kids that would anyways. From “Hello, Little Mouse.” to “That’s one red ripe strawberry he’ll never get”.

I find I much prefer adult students. I’m one of those people who prefers an intellectual challenge over an emotional or relational one (feminists get your torches and pitchforks).

I think this is because I’m very much an idealist and an abstract thinker. I think the best kindy teachers are ones who enter the classroom with the attitude that kids WILL be bad and don’t want to do anything but play, but that’s perfectly OK and natural. That attitude doesn’t come naturally to me.

You can’t discuss Dr. Seuss with adults, but you sure can talk to them about stories that were in the news today. You can commiserate with them about the daily grind. You can even discuss some classic literature from the US and UK with them, if they’re very well read and interested in these cultures.

Also, you can count on adults to offer you helpful feedback and be patient with you, two things you can never bank on with kiddies. If an adult is dissatisfied with your class, he’ll complain you or your boss, if you have one, and the worst that’ll happen is he’ll quit and ask for his money back. But a little kid who turns sour on me has no choice but to stay, in most cases, and will disrupt and refuse to cooperate and make hell for the rest of the school year!

I was never a little kid. Even when I was physically one, I was always the precocious and nerdy type of preferred intellectual conversations with adults. So for this reason, I have a lot of trouble getting inside the heads of normal little kids, and am probably not cut out to deal with them realistically.

I think I can relate to kids because I’m immature. :laughing:

Why do so many people say that teaching kindy isn’t intellectually stimulating? I would bet it is more so than half the things we generally spend our time on. Little kids have unique ways of looking at the world, you and each other. If it seems more emotional it might just be because young children don’t beat around the bush or leave you guessing. I think you have to develop self confidence around them because they will tell you your bum looks fat, you have a big nose and a million other things we learn (for good reason) not to say and you have to deal with it in a casual way. Here’s a good one. Piaget had a standard question he asked young children, “What makes the wind blow?” one answer I really liked was that the trees make the wind by moving their branches. That’s not a stupid answer, and what exactly is intellectual stimulation anyway? :shock:

You’ll never hear me say that. Kids can throw all kinds of questions at me left and right, make me stop and scratch my head in befuddlement, and pretty much “overrun my position.”

I’m certainly not naturally good with kids. I kind of stumbled into this kind of job, actually in Korea. And it was a long time before I began to like teaching kids.

I’m still not all that good at it, but more and more I can relate to the kids. I also get to see glimpses of language acquisition, which is kind of an adventure.

Kids can be a real hoot at times, a real mood elevator.

Aw, that was such a nice post, xp+10K. I think teaching kids would drive me absolutely insane, and I have the greatest respect for all of you who can do a good job AND enjoy it :slight_smile:

Good post! AND Good Job!

I feel that positive energy is brought into AND Taiwanese kindergartens.