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Become A Pre-K Teacher

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Working As A Pre-K Teacher

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • $63,130

    Average Salary

What Does A Pre-K Teacher Do

Teacher assistants work under a teacher’s supervision to give students additional attention and instruction.

Duties

Teacher assistants typically do the following:

  • Reinforce lessons presented by teachers by reviewing material with students one-on-one or in small groups
  • Enforce school and class rules to help teach students proper behavior
  • Help teachers with recordkeeping, such as tracking attendance and calculating grades
  • Help teachers prepare for lessons by getting materials ready or setting up equipment, such as computers
  • Supervise students in class, between classes, during lunch and recess, and on field trips

Teacher assistants also are called teacher aides, instructional aides, paraprofessionals, education assistants, and paraeducators.

Teacher assistants work with or under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Generally, teachers introduce new material to students while teacher assistants help reinforce the lessons by working with individual students or small groups of students. For example, after the teacher presents a lesson, a teacher assistant may help a small group of students as they try to master the material.

Teachers may seek feedback from assistants to monitor students’ progress. Some teachers and teacher assistants meet regularly to discuss lesson plans and student development. Teacher assistants sometimes help teachers by grading tests and checking homework.

Some teacher assistants work only with special education students. Some of these students attend regular classes, and teacher assistants help them understand the material and adapt the information to their learning style. Teacher assistants may work with students who have more severe disabilities in separate classrooms. They help these students with basic needs, such as eating or personal hygiene. With young adults, they may help students with disabilities learn skills necessary for them to find a job or live independently after graduation.

Some teacher assistants work in specific locations in the school. For example, some work in computer laboratories, teaching students how to use computers and helping them use software. Others work as recess or lunchroom attendants, supervising students during these times of the day.

Although most teacher assistants work in elementary, middle, and high schools, others work in preschools and childcare centers. Often, one or two assistants work with a lead teacher to provide the individual attention that young children need. They help with educational activities. They also supervise the children at play and help with feeding and other basic care.

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How To Become A Pre-K Teacher

Teacher assistants typically need to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework.

Education

Most school districts require applicants to have completed at least 2 years of college coursework or have earned an associate’s degree. Teacher assistants in schools that have a Title 1 program (a federal program for schools with a large proportion of students from low-income households) must have at least a 2-year degree, 2 years of college, or pass a state or local assessment.

Associate’s degree programs for teacher assistants prepare the participants to develop educational materials, observe students, and understand the role of teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom.

Most states require instructional aides who work with special-needs students to pass a skills-based test.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teacher assistants need to discuss students’ progress with teachers and parents, so they need to be able to communicate well.

Interpersonal skills. Teacher assistants interact with a variety of people, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators. They need to develop good working relationships with the people they work with.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Teacher assistants must be patient with students who struggle with material.

Resourcefulness. To reinforce lessons, teacher assistants must explain information to students in a way that meets each student’s learning style. 

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Do you work as a Pre-K Teacher?

Pre-K Teacher Jobs

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Teacher 3.8 years
Head Teacher 3.3 years
Pre-K Teacher 3.0 years
Head Start Teacher 3.0 years
Lead Teacher 2.7 years
Preschool Teacher 2.7 years
Lead Pre-K Teacher 2.6 years
Teacher Associate 2.4 years
Day Care Teacher 2.1 years
Toddler Teacher 1.8 years
Co-Teacher 1.7 years
Infant Teacher 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Teacher 16.7%
Cashier 5.6%
Internship 4.5%
Tutor 2.7%
Volunteer 2.3%
Top Employers After
Teacher 19.4%
Director 4.3%
Cashier 2.8%
Internship 2.4%
Nanny 2.3%
Tutor 2.3%

Do you work as a Pre-K Teacher?

Pre-K Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

89.5%

Male

8.8%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

14.2%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.7%

French

7.7%

German

2.8%

Korean

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Hindi

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Chinese

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Mandarin

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Tagalog

1.2%

Swedish

0.8%

Gujarati

0.8%

Finnish

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Turkish

0.4%
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Pre-K Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.6%

Ashford University

12.4%

Grand Canyon University

11.9%

Liberty University

9.5%

Walden University

5.8%

Capella University

4.7%

Kean University

4.5%

Troy University

3.8%

Kennesaw State University

3.6%

Georgia State University

3.4%

Montclair State University

3.1%

Georgia Southern University

3.0%

Kaplan University

3.0%

University of Central Florida

2.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

University of North Texas

2.7%

Texas A&M University

2.5%

Nova Southeastern University

2.5%

University of Houston

2.3%

Middle Tennessee State University

2.3%
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Majors

Early Childhood Education

19.0%

Elementary Education

17.1%

Education

12.2%

Human Development

7.4%

Psychology

6.6%

Special Education

6.2%

Business

5.5%

Educational Leadership

3.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

Medical Assisting Services

2.2%

English

2.1%

Human Services

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Social Work

1.8%

Sociology

1.8%

Interdisciplinary Studies

1.7%

General Studies

1.7%

Curriculum And Instruction

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Nursing

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.5%

Masters

24.9%

Other

21.3%

Associate

10.2%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Pre-K Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Pre-K Montessori Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Oxon Hill, MD May 15, 2011 $82,873
Teacher-Pre-K Baltimore City Public Schools Baltimore, MD Jul 11, 2012 $75,734
Pre-K Lead Teacher D.C. Preparatory Academy Washington, DC Jul 13, 2011 $67,435
Teacher of Mandarin Chines, K Public Schools of Brookline Brookline, MA May 15, 2014 $60,999
Teacher of Mandarin Chines, K Public Schools of Brookline Brookline, MA May 15, 2014 $60,669
Pre-K Lead Teacher Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School Washington, DC Oct 01, 2011 $60,601
Pre-K Lead Teacher Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School Washington, DC Aug 01, 2011 $60,601
Pre-K Lead Teacher Appletree Early Learning Public Charter School Washington, DC Aug 08, 2011 $58,693
Pre-K Bilingual Teacher Spring Branch Independent School District Houston, TX Nov 04, 2014 $54,512
Pre-K Lead Teacher Imagine Southeast Public Charter School Washington, DC Jan 04, 2011 $54,245
Head Start Pre-K Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Hyattsville, MD Oct 31, 2010 $54,241
Early Childhood Pre-K Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Upper Marlboro, MD Oct 01, 2010 $53,335
Pre-K Lead Teacher Hope Community Charter School Washington, DC Jul 12, 2011 $44,782
Kindergarten/Pre-K Bilingual Teacher Reconciliation Academy Dallas, TX Aug 22, 2011 $44,300
Pre-K/Kindergarten Teacher Alief Montessori Community School Houston, TX Aug 09, 2011 $43,600
Teacher, K Happy Day Education Center Anaheim, CA Sep 27, 2016 $43,201
Early Childhood Pre-K School Teacher Ideal Academy Public Charter School Washington, DC Oct 01, 2011 $42,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher King's Kids Child Care of Faith Christian Family Kennesaw, GA Jun 27, 2011 $41,600
Pre-K Lead Teacher Apple Tree Early Learning Public Charter School Washington, DC Aug 09, 2010 $41,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher Centronia Washington, DC Aug 02, 2015 $40,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher Centronia Washington, DC Aug 02, 2014 $40,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher Centronia Washington, DC Sep 10, 2015 $40,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher Child Care Management, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Aug 01, 2010 $36,836
Pre-K Teacher The Sunshine House, Inc. Roswell, GA Oct 10, 2013 $35,625
Pre-K Teacher The Sunshine House, Inc. Roswell, GA Oct 10, 2010 $34,956

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Top Skills for A Pre-K Teacher

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  1. Lesson Plans
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Creative Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided children with quality and sincere attention -Planning and executing daily lesson plans and ideas
  • Motivated students with positive communication, facilitated and modeled successful learning, improved student performance, and used effective classroom management.
  • Planned and implemented developmentally appropriate lessons using The Creative Curriculum.
  • Prepared three and four year old children for kindergarten.- Modeled conversation, manners, clean-up activities, listening skills, etc.
  • Promoted language development skills through reading and storytelling.

How Would You Rate Working As a Pre-K Teacher?

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Top 10 Best States for Pre-K Teachers

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Minnesota
  6. Washington
  7. Nevada
  8. Maine
  9. North Dakota
  10. Oregon
  • (32 jobs)
  • (1,666 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (436 jobs)
  • (305 jobs)
  • (256 jobs)
  • (480 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (101 jobs)

Top Pre-K Teacher Employers

Jobs From Top Pre-K Teacher Employers

Pre-K Teacher Videos

A Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Teacher

A Career in Teaching - Early Childhood Teaching (JTJS52010)

Kathy - Pre-K and Kindergarten

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