More and more, we hear from parents that they are looking for a nanny educator, someone who can take the place of a teacher (or in some cases support a virtual learner) for the upcoming school year. What does this mean? What are parents looking for this year?
Top nannies have always considered themselves to be part teachers, part educators. They provide activities that help children grow cognitively, physically, and emotionally every day. Each time a nanny sets out a stacking block set for a three-year-old and asks questions like "how can we build a very tall tower?" and "why does that tower fall down more easily than this tower?" the nanny is teaching. Most nannies instinctively know how to break down a day so that kids get time to develop gross and fine motor skills and language skills, social skills and the like. Many nannies take classes or further their education on these topics and are adept at naturally doing this.
However, now we find that parents are looking for something that takes this natural enrichment and goes the next step.
Educators have a broader perspective. They prepare lesson plans, possibly plans that incorporate a school or state curriculum guide. This is more than a themed week on dinosaurs. These plans include specific skills and a child's ability to retain facts and then use this information in a meaningful way.
They prepare and execute some sort of assessment to ensure that students are progressing. There is some way to measure the child's success and use that measure to pace the instruction going forward.
An educator supports the learner, ignites the passion of discovery and helps the child become a lifelong learner. They understand multiple teaching methods and know-how to prepare and predict what a student will need to achieve success.
Let's take dinosaurs, for example;. At the same time, a teacher may prepare an activity that matches dinosaur teeth with the types of food that Dinos eat; an educator will create this lesson and then corresponding lessons and activities that show how knowing this for Dinos can help the child determine what foods animals of today eat. An educator may have a whole host of lessons planned for a month that incorporate math skills, language skills and encourage further study. To approach the topic in a way that allows for more connections to be made than just knowing the names of the dinosaurs, but what is the root of the word and how does that connect with words we use everyday. It's a deeper dive, and a broader dive than just teaching the material. It also is more intentional. Because an educator would know, and have planned, that the counting Dino activity they master in this unit then builds to learning addition in the next unit.
The broad vision of an educator is very intentional. And that is key. It demands planning and thoughtful execution of a variety of learning methods. It requires a nanny to take a look at the daily practices you have and organize them to make sense and propels your goals and objectives for the child in a forward direction.
It is essential to know that there is a place for all of these practices in a child's life. All are important and support kids as they grow. They learn from teachers, nannies, and coaches, and parents enrich them, educators guide them. One is not more central than the other, and when we can provide all of this for our kids, we have done our job well. We will raise inquisitive, bright humans who will have the tools to change the world!
Are you thinking of finding an educated nanny or private educator for your family? Let us help you find the best fit for your family.