While classes are very important, learning theory can only go so far. The opportunity for hands-on experience should be something you have in your program. A practicum allows you to put your knowledge into practice and see how the theory you’ve learned applies to real-life situations and environments.
A practicum also offers you more opportunities to network with people who work in the field and have years of experience to draw from. This can fast track your education, as you benefit from the experiences of others that you don’t yet have. Read on to learn more about how you can maximize your practicum and get as much as you can out of it.
Drive Your Learning in an Early Childhood Assistant Diploma Practicum
You need to be proactive in your practicum to make sure you get as much learning as you can out of it. If you simply go through the motions, you won’t end up digging as deep into the things you want to know more about or your personal challenges. Being opportunistic about new tasks, responsibilities and experiences will set you up for success—volunteer to take on more, help with things you haven’t tried before and be present and observant for the duration of your practicum. When you notice something unfamiliar, ask to participate or take on the new task.
Questions are a big part of learning and digesting new information. Your practicum is a safe, encouraging place where you can ask plenty of questions without worrying about judgment. Your background from your early childhood education program will probably already give you a few questions that you want to ask in a real work environment. Once you learn about the realities of the job, let yourself be curious and find out more about what you’re encountering. You can also ask questions that prompt feedback, so you know what strengths and areas for improvement others are seeing in you. With their experience in the field, the people around you can have some very valuable responses that make you a better early childcare assistant in the future.
Make an Impression and Build Connections with the People You Meet
Networking is a very common way that people find employment, in many different industries. The more people you know who can give references and point you towards openings, the easier your job search will be after finishing school. Connecting to others can be easier than you may think. Often, the word “networking” seems a little intimidating, but if you approach others with kindness and are curious about them as people, you’ll find that you start to build common ground and mutual respect. In your practicum, you’ll be working with people who may one day employ you, help you find employment, or work alongside you. Start networking right away so you’re ahead of the game when you start your career.
Though a practicum is part of hands-on early childhood assistant training, you can adopt a professional mindset instead of just an educational one. Approaching your practicum with the mindset that it is a real job is a great way to make a wonderful first impression. Showing up as the best version of yourself, applying your skills and energy wholly, and working as hard as if you were employed in the position will show others how valuable and serious you are. This can help you stand out so that they reconnect with you down the road.
Are you interested in earning an early childhood assistant diploma?
Contact Canadian Business College to learn more.