Preschool Teacher

By: Alyssa Valdez

What do Preschool Teachers Do?

Preschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand. Preschool teachers work in public and private schools, childcare centers, and more. Preschool teachers usually work the 10-month school year.

Education And Training

Education and training requirements deponds on your setting. They range from a high school diploma and certification to a college degree. some states require preschool teachers to hold bachelor's degrees, whereas other states only require the equivalent of a high school diploma. Some states do not require a 4-year degree, but instead may require applicants to complete postsecondary early childhood development coursework.

Opportunities for Advancement

In some schools, preschool teachers can become head teachers who oversee a group of classes. In a daycare environment, preschool teachers may move up to roles such as assistant director or director of the facility. Preschool teachers with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education are eligible to teach kindergarten through third grade as well as preschool. Many times those positions pay more than preschool teaching positions.

Salary and Benefits

Hourly wages for preschool teachers vary widely depending on geographical location. Median wages for preschool teachers is $12.80 per hour. Although benefits vary considerably depending on setting, location, educational requirements, responsibilities and other factors, benefits for preschool teachers tend to be limited. Some employers provide no benefits, while others offer full packages, including health insurance, retirement funds and paid vacations. Most employers offer preschool teachers minimal benefits such as free or discounted tuition for the children of preschool teachers.

Aptitudes and Values Required

The Aptitudes and Values required to be a preschool teacher include the abilities to keep accurate records and to communicate with parents and administrators. Teachers must have a clear understanding of the curriculum standards for preschool classes, and the knowledge and skills to plan lessons to teach students the core content.