Encouraging play, creativity, and imagination are preferable in a preschool teacher job description. They are often the first adult besides a parent or guardian to guide and mold a child. These teachers need to create a fast-paced day that involves a lot of transitions to keep the students entertained. Even though they do not assign homework or have to grade papers, they create lesson plans and learning outcomes.
The preschool teacher job description will cover their educational requirements, job outlook, salary, as well as the daily roles and responsibilities of a preschool teacher.
What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?
Preschool teachers need to provide a safe and intellectually stimulating environment for their students. They plan different activities during the day and prepare meals and snacks. Some children will only be in preschool for a few hours a day while others will be there for several hours. Depending on this, the teacher may also need to get children calmed down for nap time through story time. Anyone who has been around little children for an extended period of time knows that they carry a lot of germs. Therefore, the teachers also need to be aware of sterilization protocols when there are illness outbreaks.
Certification is preferable for preschool teachers, but some employers will require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for head teachers. Some preschools may be part of K-12 schools while others will be private or church-based. Most preschool teachers work full-time, but teacher aids may work part-time. The median salary is $28,570.
Preschool Teacher Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
Preschool teachers naturally need to be great with little kids and excellent communicators with their parents. There are additional responsibilities included in the following list that stay part of every preschool teacher job description.
- Create lesson plans and learning outcomes that teach children basic school facts such as numbers and shapes.
- Arrange different centers and groups for children to rotate through during the day.
- Write recaps of what the children did during the day for parents or guardians.
- Enforce excellent classroom management so that students stay on-task and focused during the day.
- Conduct quarterly evaluations of students and schedule parent-teacher conferences.
- Lead story time and circle time for students.
- Work with teacher aids and paraprofessionals to help students who need extra levels of support and focus on their inclusion in their classroom.
Preschool Teacher Required Skills
- Patience skills. Preschool children are at the age where they want to be in control and get frustrated very quickly. Preschool teachers need to have extreme patience with a range of children and personalities.
- Classroom management skills. The day in the classroom goes much easier when the teacher has excellent classroom management. This lets the students know that there is some sort of order and routine to the day and improves their behavior.
- Organizational skills. Preschool teachers need to plan many different activities during the day including outside time, bathroom breaks, and snacks. Staying organized and planning for the day ahead of time will create a better experience for the students.
- Creativity skills. There are thousands of different activities and games that children at this age can play. The preschool teacher needs to come up with ways for multiple children to play and rotate through these different activities.
This list is based on a list from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How to Become a Preschool Teacher
The education for a preschool teacher varies widely. At the highest level, these professionals are expected to have their bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. However, some people may only need a high school diploma with vocational training in high school. There is no required experience, but there should be some level of student teaching prior to becoming a preschool teacher.
Education & Training Requirements
Students who are interested in becoming preschool teachers should enter the vocational track at their high school. These tracks focus on early childhood education and will often let students leave school after a half day so they can go work in a preschool. The industry will impact the education pathway that needs to come after graduating from high school. There are federal preschool programs such as Head Start and Pre-K counts. These programs need teachers to have an associate’s degree.
The primary difference between preschool and Pre-K teachers is that preschool teachers can work in private or public schools while Pre-K teachers are part of Pre-K counts. Some states require an additional certification known as the Child Development Associate certificate. The requirements for earning this certificate are thee years of work, certain coursework and professional development credits, a written test, and performance-based observations.
The bachelor’s degree in early childhood education allows preschool teachers to work with students up to third grade. Those without a bachelor’s degree will be limited to teaching preschool or working in a childcare center with younger children.
The preschool teacher job description mostly does not require experience. However, some states do require a certain amount of experience working with children before becoming preschool teachers. This experience can come from working as a teaching assistant or in a daycare center.
Students who major in early childhood education as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree will gain experience during the course of their degree through an internship or student teaching experience. They can gain additional experience volunteering or job shadowing someone who is currently a preschool teacher.
Teachers typically work from about 8 AM to 3 PM Monday thru Friday during the school year. Preschool teachers will generally follow this schedule. They may need to get to their classroom early to set-up for the day and stay late to clean. However, they do not have to grade papers or assign homework as teachers of older grades will.
Depending on the schedule of the preschool, they may have to eat lunch with the students, and they will not have a break from their work. Having the summer off is typical for teachers who work as part of a public school. However, there are always camps for preschoolers where they can work for additional sources of income.
The projected job growth for preschool teachers is 7 percent through the year 2024. There has been focused attention on early childhood education. This comes partially from research that demonstrates the importance of early education and partially from parents needing to work. Those with bachelor’s degrees will be more competitive in the job market.
The median salary is $28,750 dollars with a range from $19,130 to $51,990. This fluctuates by industry with those working within public K-12 schools earning $42,880 and those in childcare centers earning $26,210.
Preschool teachers have a very rewarding career in which they help mold children and equip them with essential school readiness skills. This preschool teacher job description has shown that classroom management and creative lesson plans, the day is taxing but enjoyable. For the importance of their job, the median pay is fairly low. However, much like social workers, advanced education leads to higher pay.