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Become A Pre-K Teacher

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Working As A Pre-K Teacher

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $44,799

    Average Salary

What Does A Pre-K Teacher Do

A Pre-K Teacher generally instructs children ages 2 to 5 through using creative methods, such as art, music, and hands-on learning. They help children begin the learning process through activities like group reading, collecting objects, and distinguishing shapes and colors.

How To Become A Pre-K Teacher

Education and training requirements vary based on settings and state regulations. They range from a high school diploma and certification to a college degree.

Education

In childcare centers, preschool teachers generally are required to have a least a high school diploma and a certification in early childhood education. However, employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

Preschool teachers in Head Start programs are required to have at least an associate’s degree. However, at least 50 percent of all preschool teachers in Head Start programs nationwide must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Those with a degree in a related field must have experience teaching preschool-age children.

In public schools, preschool teachers are generally required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Bachelor’s degree programs teach students about children’s development, strategies to teach young children, and how to observe and document children’s progress.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require preschool teachers to obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, a written exam, and observation of the candidate working with children. The CDA credential is valid for three years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements needed to obtain the CCP include that the candidate must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every two years through the CCP maintenance process.

In public schools, preschool teachers must be licensed to teach early childhood education, which covers preschool through third grade. Requirements vary by state, but they generally require a bachelor’s degree and passing an exam to demonstrate competency. Most states require teachers to complete continuing education credits to maintain their license.

Other Experience

A few states require preschool teachers to have some work experience in a childcare setting. The amount of experience necessary varies by state. In these cases, preschool teachers often start out as childcare workers or teacher assistants.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Preschool teachers need good communication skills to talk to parents and colleagues about students’ progress. They need good writing and speaking skills to convey this information effectively. They must also be able to communicate well with small children.

Creativity. Preschool teachers must plan lessons that engage young students. In addition, they need to adapt their lessons to suit different learning styles.

Interpersonal skills. Preschool teachers must understand children’s emotional needs and be able to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.

Organizational skills. Teachers need to be organized to plan lessons and keep records of their students.

Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, and preschool teachers should be able to respond calmly to overwhelming and difficult situations.

Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so preschool teachers should have a lot of energy.

Advancement

Experienced preschool teachers can advance to become the director of a preschool or childcare center or a lead teacher, who may be responsible for the instruction of several classes. Those with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education frequently are qualified to teach kindergarten through grade 3, in addition to preschool. Teaching positions at these higher grades typically pay more. For more information, see the profiles on preschool and childcare center directors and kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

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Pre-K Teacher jobs

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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
Level Coordinator, Pre-K Potomac Lighthouse PCS Washington, DC Nov 04, 2014 $61,818
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
Bilingual Pre-K Teacher Tyler Independent School District Tyler, TX Aug 01, 2015 $45,600
Bilingual Pre-K Teacher Tyler ISD Tyler, TX Sep 02, 2016 $45,600
Pre-K Lead Teacher Mary McLeod Bethune Day Academy Public Charter Sch Washington, DC Sep 09, 2013 $45,000
Bilingual Pre-K Teacher Garland Independent School District Garland, TX Oct 02, 2010 $45,000 -
$61,955
Pre-K Lead Teacher Hope Community Charter School Washington, DC Jul 13, 2011 $44,873
Early Childhood Pre-K School Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Fort Washington, MD Jul 01, 2010 $44,799 -
$82,873
Pre-K Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Oxon Hill, MD Jun 29, 2011 $44,799 -
$82,873
Pre-K Teacher Prince George's County Public Schools Suitland, MD Jun 29, 2011 $44,799 -
$82,873
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 Centronia Washington, DC Sep 10, 2015 $40,000
Pre-K Lead Teacher Centronia Washington, DC Aug 02, 2014 $40,000

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Top Skills for A Pre-K Teacher

WeeklyLessonPlansClassroomManagementCreativeCurriculumOLDChildrenPre-KindergartenMathematicsLanguageSkillsPre KSmallGroupsSocialSkillsSuperviseDailyActivitiesSocialDevelopmentLearningActivitiesMotorSkillsIEPClassActivitiesSpecialNeedsBasicSkillsChildDevelopment

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Top Pre-K Teacher Skills

  1. Weekly Lesson Plans
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Creative Curriculum
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Implemented weekly lesson plans from an approved curriculum which used developmentally appropriate teaching techniques.
  • Develop and implement classroom design, classroom management techniques, and classroom daily plans.
  • Developed, modified and implemented program curriculum - used Diocese of Paterson Curriculum, New Jersey Standards, and Creative Curriculum.
  • Instructed 3 to 4 years old children.
  • Key Accomplishments: Responsible for Curriculum development of the pre-kindergarten program

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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