If you love young children, you may enjoy the idea of teaching them necessary life lessons. In this case, you may consider a job as a preschool teacher. This career path requires a number of skills and education. It is important to understand what is necessary to become a preschool teacher.
What Skills are Necessary for a Preschool Teacher?
Guiding the minds of America’s youth is a rewarding career. There are particular skills that will make you successful in this profession.
- Patience. Young children do not often have discipline to sit still and to follow directions. Many times, students may be dealing with family difficulties that bleed into the classroom as well. No matter, it is essential for a preschool teacher to remain calm and to practice patience. This conveys a sense of safety and security to all students.
- Creativity. When dealing with exceptionally young children, it is essential for a teacher to create activities that are fun and educational. This grade level is a time for kids to discover the world. This occurs through play and other interactive lessons. To be effective, you must think out-of-the-box and engage your students.
- Communication. All children are different. For the most part, preschool is the first formal classroom learning that occurs. Therefore, a preschool teacher must utilize various methods of communication to accommodate a multitude of learning styles. If you are preschool teacher, you must maintain solid communication with parents as well.
What Degrees Do You Need?
To become a preschool teacher, the lowest level of education that you need is a completed associate’s degree. Most likely, you will concentrate your studies on psychology or childhood education.
Most states have regulations in place that require preschool teachers to receive training before he or she is hired. For example, you may work as a teacher’s aid or a daycare worker. This provides invaluable knowledge about effectively shaping young minds.
Do You Need Any Certifications?
Certain states require certification for preschool teachers. For example, the Council for Professional Recognition Child Development Associate Certificate is granted to teachers who complete classroom training and observation. Also, you must pass an examination and must renew it every three years. You may receive a National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Child Care Professional Certificate after completing a two-year course. Usually, this is a smart path for a person with no college degree. To earn this certification, you must pass a test.
How Long Does Preschool Teacher Training Take?
The training time to become a preschool teacher varies and depends on your degree or certificate options. In certain instances, it may take two years or less. If a bachelor’s degree is necessary, it will take four years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that certain childcare facilities only require a high school diploma and a Child Development Associate Credential to fill this position.
How Much Will You Earn as a Preschool Teacher?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that a preschool teacher earns a median yearly income of $29,780. This amount depends on experience, school type, and location. Normally, private schools offer less pay than public school districts.
What are the Job Prospects for a Preschool Teacher?
Over the next five years, preschool education jobs are expected to grow by 10 percent. This is over the growth rate for all other employment. If you receive a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, you may be able to teach up to grade 3, which may bring advanced pay.
How to Find Work as a Preschool Teacher
If you have logged hours as a professional babysitter or a nanny, you have gained experience building a comfortable rapport with young children. As previously discussed, classroom experience as a teaching assistant or daycare aid can build a résumé when searching for employment. When you are actively looking for a job, it is vital to contact local school districts and private schools in your area and to inquire about open positions. This is your best chance of getting a preschool teaching position.