What is a Preschool Teacher?

A preschool teacher is someone who helps young children prepare for kindergarten through play, interactive activities, and games. Language skills, vocabulary skills, social skills and basic mathematical and scientific concepts are developed by having small-group lessons, or even one-on-one instruction. The preschool teacher will encourage lots of discussion and problem solving from the children. Rhyming, storytelling, music, art, dance, and acting games are also part of a less structured approach to teaching at this level.

What does a Preschool Teacher do?

A preschool teacher is someone who helps young children prepare for kindergarten through play, interactive activities, and games.

A preschool teacher is responsible for teaching toddlers basic learning skills, keeping order in the classroom, and making sure that the children are safe. Ultimately, preparing these toddlers for kindergarten is the main goal of the teacher. He or she will follow a formal curriculum, and teach the lessons in an upbeat, positive and encouraging manner. Effective communication skills are extremely important, as children may be at different stages of learning. Being tuned in to the different needs of each child, as well as recognizing even the smallest amount of progress made by each child is the mark of an excellent preschool teacher.

Using a child's natural curiosity to help growth and development is something a preschool teacher taps into. They are active participants in helping a child make developmental steps with their skills and abilities. They do this by creating an atmosphere where children can make discoveries and learn how to express themselves verbally, mentally and physically.

Duties of a preschool teacher:

  • teach basic skills such as social skills, personal hygiene, number & letter recognition, shapes, and colours
  • help children explore and try things out by using imaginative play and learning activities
  • establish rules and procedures that enforce good behaviour and order in the classroom
  • read books and stories to the class
  • promote mental, social, and physical development by organizing and leading activities such as arts and crafts, field trips, games, and music

Are you suited to be a preschool teacher?

Preschool teachers have distinct personalities. They tend to be social individuals, which means they’re kind, generous, cooperative, patient, caring, helpful, empathetic, tactful, and friendly. They excel at socializing, helping others, and teaching. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

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What is the workplace of a Preschool Teacher like?

A preschool teacher may work in a public school, a childcare centre, or a Head Start program. Most positions are for a typical ten month school year, and yet other may be year round. Working with small children can be tiring and demanding, requiring a great deal of patience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Preschool Teachers happy?

Preschool teachers rank as moderately happy among careers. Overall they rank in the 50th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores. Please note that this number is derived from the data we have collected from our Sokanu members only.

While we have no hard data to explain this only moderate satisfaction/happiness quotient among preschool teachers, it may be rooted in their relatively low pay scale vis-à-vis the significant responsibility of the position.

Steps to becoming a Preschool Teacher

Becoming a preschool teacher is about commitment to your own education. Being a preschool teacher is about commitment to the education of our youngest children.

What are Preschool Teachers like?

Based on our pool of users, preschool teachers tend to be predominately social people. This finding is both expected and encouraging, given the responsibility of these teachers. They are charged with providing their young students with foundations for academic success, creative expression, and participation in social groups, organizations, communities, and society at large.

How long does it take to become a Preschool Teacher?

Because the education requirements for preschool teachers vary by state, the type of preschool, and employer, the length of time to enter the profession also varies. After earning a high school or GED diploma, aspiring preschool teachers typically choose one of three educational tracks:

 Vocational School Certificate in Early Childhood Education – as little as six weeks  Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education – two years  Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education – four years

Should I become a Preschool Teacher?

Preschool is one of the only educational environments where the focus is on play and creativity, rather than on intense curricular standards. In no way, however, does this make the career an easy one. Anyone who believes that the role is simple, uncomplicated, and without challenge is hugely mistaken. Preschool teachers are charged with the considerable mission of effectively using playtime and story time to teach language, reasoning, and problem-solving skills; encourage social development; and hone fine motor skills. Their objective is to use children’s natural curiosity to develop learning plans that are developmentally appropriate and to create an atmosphere where risks can be taken and discoveries can be made. This is no small task. Quite to the contrary, it is work that is demanding, foundational, and life-building.

This important work calls for a diverse set of characteristics, skills, and talents:

Trustworthiness and Nurturing Demeanour Preschool teachers are trusted to care for and nurture people’s children at a point when they may be entering the public world for the first time

Patience Young children learn at different rates. They can be loud, emotional, unruly, and irrational. Preschool teachers must be patient with young children who have a tough time expressing themselves or need lots of help learning new skills.

Creativity and Flexibility Keeping young children’s attention demands creativity. Preschool teachers consistently need to think of new and innovative ways to engage children to learn,

Empathy and Communication Skills Preschool teachers must be empathetic to children’s emotions and parents’ concerns. They must be able to communicate difficult concepts to children in a way they understand.

If you feel that you have the appropriate temperament and aptitude to be a preschool teacher, consider this further advice about entering the role:

Be prepared for anything Yes, working with kids often means fun and excitement, but it also means skinned knees, upset stomachs, and sometimes unpleasant encounters with parents. If you are not prepared for surprises, unexpected emergencies, or the occasional deviation from your plans, you should probably reconsider becoming a preschool teacher.

Know how to play Playtime is essential to child development. It allows children to explore and use their imagination to foster their creativity. Preparing to teach preschool begins with knowing how to play, how to be curious, how to be awed by small things like spiders and caterpillars. It begins with not being worried about getting messy with glue or arts and craft paint. Preschool teachers who know how to play naturally encourage their students’ ideas and curiosities.

Remember that you are in charge When your students are being rowdy and not listening, it can be tough to get them to quiet down and follow instructions. With practice and time, though, your class will see you as the authoritative figure in the room. And while it is appropriate to listen to parents’ concerns and know that they mean well, you must convey that you are ultimately the educational leader in the classroom.

Remember that each child is an individual Although you will be teaching a classroom full of kids, you will also need to focus on each one as an individual. Preschoolers follow their own developmental patterns and they change every day. Get to know your students and their needs so that you can accommodate their leaning styles. Adjust activities as needed so that everyone can participate.

Remember that making a difference never gets old Rambunctious morning greetings. The proud look on a child’s face after they have mastered a new skill. A hug. A smile. These are the rewards for the long hours of dealing with rowdy kids and the time spent talking to upset parents. Being a preschool teacher may at times seem thankless, but it can be gratifying beyond imagination.

Preschool Teachers are also known as:
Early Childhood Teacher Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Pre-K Teacher