Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
Teaching preschool can be extremely rewarding. The enthusiasm and vitality of the youth is thrilling to behold and knowing you are helping mold these children is something to take great pride in.
The road to becoming a preschool teacher can be made easier by following this map:
Education is the first stop on the road. Specific certification requirements vary from state to state so it is important to do the research within your state to know what is required. While some preschool centers will still hire high school graduates, the growing trend for most schools is to retain higher educated individuals for these positions. A certification or degree shows potential employers a dedication to teaching.
Skill Assessment is the next stop. Reviewing your skills ahead of time will allow you to spotlight them during an interview. While previous experience with children is important, other skills such as first aid or administrative skills are also needed.
Understanding the duties of a preschool teacher is another stop on the map. Teaching is hard work. You will be require to:
- Keep order in the class
- Create lesson plans
- Assess performance of children
- Purchase materials for the class
- Identify special needs children
- Speak with parents
Find opportunities. Preschool teaching jobs are expected to grow at a national average rate of 17 percent through 2022. While that is a healthy growth rate, it is still up to you to actively pursue jobs by researching which centers are hiring and knowing when new centers are opening. Networking can be extremely helpful in finding a position in your community.
Volunteer. Volunteering at a local preschool can add to your skill level while also getting your name known at the school so when a position opens, you are at the top of the list of candidates for consideration.