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  • You must have a warm, smiling face that makes every child feel special and loved.
  • You must be able to laugh at jokes that you don’t understand, or you don’t find funny. Child humour can be a confusing minefield to navigate.
  • You will preferably have a little bit of quirkiness. If a child requests that you be the captain of a pirate ship, you will be the best pirate captain you can be.
  • You must feel comfortable telling everybody in the same room as you, that you are going to use the bathroom.
  • The ability to sing in tune is not necessary, however the ability to sing out of tune in front of a crowd is essential.
  • Some knowledge of Frozen, Minions, Spiderman, Ariel, Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Thomas the tank engine and Sofia the first would be advantageous.
  • A high level of multitasking is essential. If something would normally take 5 minutes to achieve, you must be comfortable with it taking 15 minutes or longer.
  • You must be able to distribute warm hugs as required.
  • Possessing the skills required to rapidly count the heads of numerous moving small people is of utmost importance.
  • Must be comfortable entering public places on the way home from work with unknown substances on your clothing.
  • You must have a high level of comfort around talking about bodily functions. You must also have a strong sense of smell to enable you to respond swiftly to said bodily functions.
  • You preferably do not have an aversion to an environment that at times resembles the aftermath of a tornado.
  • You must be able to remain focused in environments with high noise levels.
  • Pretending to eat playdough creations realistically is required, this is a skill that may develop with time and experience.
  • The ability to remember the names of 40+ children, their parents, siblings, grandparents, pets and special soft toys is a key component of this job. Again, this is something that will develop over time.
  • You must feel comfortable sitting on furniture that does not contain all of your behind.
  • A high level of comfort with being asked personal questions by children is essential. You will regularly be asked questions regarding what you are having for lunch, whether you are willing to share said lunch, whether or not you are married, and if not, why you are not married, where you are going (as you walk into the toilet), and what you did in there (the toilet).
  • You must have an understanding that the small people you have a strong relationship with during the week, may completely and utterly refuse to talk to or acknowledge you when they see you at the local store. Your feelings must not be easily hurt.
  • You must have the ability to read a ten page fairytale with at least one interruption per page.
  • Authentically showing an interest in and curiosity for bugs and creepy crawlies is essential, even if they are your biggest fear on earth.
  • You must be prepared to have a lot of fun in the workplace. Laughter is something you can expect to engage in for a large part of your working day.
  • Finally, you must be prepared to feel loved, special, and important to many young children and their families. There is simply no other job quite like this one.
Alternative job description for early childhood teachers – by Sonya McIntyre

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