If you enjoy working with children, then pursuing a career as a preschool teacher could be a great choice for you. There are countless benefits to becoming a preschool teacher -- not only can it be emotionally fulfilling, but it can also be a great way to gain job security; after all, there's a significant demand for passionate, creative preschool teachers in the U.S right now.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, there is a 15 percent projected growth rate in the field of preschool education and teaching by 2031, which is higher than average. With that in mind, the following is a guide to help you become a successful preschool teacher.
What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?
Before diving into what it takes to become a successful preschool teacher, it's essential to understand what the job actually entails. The main job of a preschool teacher is to help children develop basic skills and knowledge. This includes teaching language, motor skills, math, science, art, music, social studies, and health.
In addition to providing an educational environment for young children, teachers also have the responsibility of caring for their physical needs as well. This can involve helping them dress and go to the bathroom, providing snacks and meals, and helping them stay safe in their environment. Finally, for many children, preschool is the first time they get to interact with a group of other children, so it's essential for preschool teachers to develop strong social and emotional skills.
Skills Needed for Preschool Teaching
To be a successful preschool teacher, you must possess certain skills such as creativity, patience, and the ability to interact with children of various ages and backgrounds. As such, communication skills are vital. You must also be able to plan and organize activities, maintain a positive and safe classroom environment, demonstrate strong communication skills, and understand the social, emotional, and physical development needs of young children.
Tips for Successful Preschool Teaching
Preschool teaching can be challenging but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips to help you succeed as a preschool teacher:
- Develop and maintain positive relationships with parents, guardians, fellow teachers and administrators.
- Set up a comfortable classroom environment that encourages learning and exploration.
- Create engaging lesson plans that include activities for all types of learners.
- Monitor children's progress and provide individualized attention to those who need it.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork among the students.
- Stay up to date with the latest research and best practices in early childhood education.
- Use positive reinforcement and have a sense of humor when dealing with difficult situations.
- Ensure that the safety of all children is always the top priority.
How To Become a Preschool Teacher
If you're interested in pursuing a career as a preschool teacher, the first step is to obtain your teaching certification. In most states, this requires completing an accredited early childhood education program and passing the state's required tests for educators.
Here at the Athena Career Academy, we offer an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Associate Degree program that integrates the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards and Ohio’s Early Learning and Development Standards into our curriculum.
In addition to the above requirements, it's also important to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices in early childhood education. This can be done by participating in continuing education courses, attending workshops, and joining professional organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
For information about enrolling in our ECE program and becoming a teacher, contact us at Athena Career Academy today.