If you choose to observe an early childhood teacher in action, the first thing you may notice is that she very rarely spends any time sitting down in an adult sized chair. There may not even be any adult sized chairs in her classroom! Caring for young children often means that we must spend the bulk of our day on a child's level. Crouching, kneeling, crawling and sitting on the floor are all things that will be expected of you as a preschool teacher. If you do sit at a table, it will most likely be in a child sized chair. Keeping your knees and back healthy are essential in this job.
Remembering proper lifting techniques can help in these typical preschool situations. When lifting a child, always bend from the knees and be sure to hold the child close to you when lifting. Even simply bending to pick something up from the floor can be difficult on your back. Remember to bend at the knees and move slowly.
When teaching preschool, many of your hours each week will be spent outdoors on a playground. Contrary to popular belief, outdoor playground time is not a resting hour for the teachers. Teachers must be able to run, jump, climb and swing with the children. Keeping well hydrated and covering up from the sun with a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen can help you get through outdoor playtime.
Remember that when working with young children, you will be exposed to many different colds and illnesses. Be sure that your vaccinations are up to date, and make sure to get a flu shot each year. Practice good handwashing techniques with your preschool class and be sure to change clothes and wash your hands upon returning home from work each day. Doing so will keep the germs to a minimum and can help protect you and other members of your family. Be sure to take time off if you are feeling under the weather. Coming to work when you are sick is of no benefit to you or the children in your care.