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How to Become a Preschool Teacher

Majors Overview December 26, 2012

In some states, children below four years of age are required to attend preschool, and because of this ruling, the demand for preschool teachers has gone up. In this article, we will look at the career path of a preschool teacher and discuss what an aspiring preschool teacher must do in order to pursue their career.

Children attending preschool are taught interactive and play activities. Preschool teachers utilize the play activities to help the children sharpen their communication and vocabulary. For instance, a child’s social skills can be developed by a preschool teacher by employing acting and rhyming games and storytelling as educational tools. The same tools can be used to provide an understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts. The approach employed in many preschools is not well structured and includes lessons delivered to small groups of children; there are a lot of one-on-one learning sessions apart from creative activities such as dance, music and art. Typically, in a preschool environment, problems are solved through collaboration between teachers and students who engage in lots of discussions in the classroom.

Educational Prerequisites for Preschool Teachers

In many states along with private schools, a prospective preschool teacher is expected to possess an associate degree as a minimum qualification. Many preschool teachers begin their career path as assistant teachers, and become teachers once they have gain experience, overtime they will rise to become lead teachers. Preschool teachers must have the primary ability of making students cooperate with one another. They have to provide learning activities that are fun for their preschool students; the teachers must ensure that the students are kept safe while at school. The teachers have to work as a team with other teachers at the preschool and have to interact with students’ parents.

Other Prerequisites

Preschool teachers must voluntarily participate in the development and growth of the children in their care. They must work to help children learn how they can leverage their natural curiosity to strengthen their abilities and skills. The teachers must have the ability to create the perfect learning environment for their students where children are able to take risks and make discoveries in the comfort of knowing that their safety is being looked after by the teachers at the preschool. Prospective preschool teachers in most cases are required to equip themselves with certificates in infant and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as well as in first aid procedures. They must consent to police background checks and submit their fingerprints.

Preschool Teacher Program Coursework

Typically, a preschool teacher degree program coursework include topics such as parent-child relations, instructional resources and technology, instructional design, curriculum methods, classroom management and behavior, and child development.

Wage Potential of a Preschool Teacher

In 2010, a preschool teacher earned an average hourly wage of $14.04 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)).

Job Growth Potential

Preschool teachers are projected to enjoy a job growth of nineteen percent that are higher than most professions during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: BLS). There is an encouraging job outlook for preschool teachers due to an increase in the number of children who are less than five years of age along with the fact that more mothers are going out of their homes to work. Some states government is mulling a law that will make preschool compulsory for children who are four years old and above.

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