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Working As A Preschool Lead Teacher

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Preschool Lead Teacher Do

Preschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand.

Duties

Preschool teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach children basic skills such as color, shape, number, and letter recognition
  • Work with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and the subject matter
  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that targets different areas of child development, such as language, motor, and social skills
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world, explore interests, and develop skills
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to the attention of the parents
  • Keep records of the students’ progress, routines, and interests, and inform parents about their child’s development

Young children learn from playing, problem solving, questioning, and experimenting. Preschool teachers use play and other instructional techniques to teach children about the world. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox or teach math by having children count when building with blocks.

Preschool teachers work with children from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Teachers include topics in their lessons to teach children to respect people of different backgrounds and cultures.

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How To Become A Preschool Lead 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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Average Length of Employment
Group Teacher 3.9 years
Head Teacher 3.4 years
Head Start Teacher 3.0 years
Lead Teacher 2.8 years
Preschool Teacher 2.7 years
Pre-K Teacher 2.7 years
Lead Pre-K Teacher 2.6 years
Teacher Associate 2.4 years
Toddler Teacher 1.8 years
Floater Teacher 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Preschool Lead Teacher
Teacher 9.1%
Cashier 6.7%
Nanny 4.8%
Internship 4.1%
Volunteer 2.7%
Server 2.3%
Top Careers After Preschool Lead Teacher
Lead Teacher 13.7%
Teacher 9.9%
Nanny 7.0%
Director 4.5%
Cashier 3.0%

Do you work as a Preschool Lead Teacher?

Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
Show Salaries
$23,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$45,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Preschool Lead Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Preschool Lead Teacher in the United States is $32,783 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $23,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $45,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Preschool Lead Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Teacher Preschool Educare D.C. Jul 15, 2012 $57,000
Lead Preschool Teacher Oak Meadow Montessori School Sep 14, 2010 $54,606 -
$58,606
Preschool Lead Teacher Alta Plaza Preschool Inc. Jan 09, 2016 $52,572
Lead Preschool Teacher Oak Meadow Montessori School Sep 14, 2010 $49,047 -
$52,500
Lead Preschool Teacher Oak Meadow Montessori School Sep 13, 2009 $49,047
Preschool Lead Teacher Loving Care Day Nursery Mar 06, 2013 $45,510
Preschool Lead Teacher Ideal Child Care Development Center Jul 23, 2013 $42,000
Preschool Lead Teacher Newton School for Children, Inc. Jan 14, 2016 $38,150
Lead Preschool Teacher Gertrude B. Nielsen Childcare and Learning Center Oct 12, 2009 $37,960
Lead Preschool Teacher Parents of Preschoolers Inc. Aug 16, 2010 $36,523
Lead Preschool Teacher Children's Preschool of Santa Cruz Nov 01, 2010 $36,001 -
$40,175
Lead School Preschool Teacher Phoenix Childrens Academy Aug 04, 2011 $35,333
Lead Preschool Teacher Phoenix Childrens Academy, Inc. Aug 05, 2011 $35,333
Lead Preschool Teacher Winwood Children's Center, VI, LLC Aug 05, 2011 $35,333
Lead Preschool Teacher Communities United, Inc. Jul 08, 2013 $34,582 -
$37,169
Bilingual Lead Teacher Preschool Spanish for Fun Academy Sep 20, 2015 $29,218
Assistant Lead Preschool Teacher Building Blocks Child Care Center, Inc. Sep 23, 2015 $29,197
Preschool Program Lead Teacher Spanish for Fun Academy Inc. Apr 14, 2011 $28,829
Lead Preschool Teacher Northgate Whizz Kids Academy Dec 12, 2011 $28,383
Kindergarten and Preschool Lead Teacher Montessori School of Pullman, Inc. Mar 01, 2015 $28,119
Lead Preschool Teacher Artful Enterprises, Inc. Feb 14, 2016 $27,206
Preschool Lead Teacher Care-A-Lot-Learning Center, LLC Jul 12, 2015 $27,131
Lead Preschool Teacher Artful Enterprises, Inc. Dec 11, 2012 $26,416
Preschool Spanish Lead Teacher Tabula RASA The Language School Sep 13, 2014 $26,400
Preschool Spanish Lead Teacher Tabula RASA The Language Academy Oct 01, 2013 $26,400

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Top Skills for A Preschool Lead Teacher

  1. Appropriate Curriculum
  2. Lesson Plans
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Lead teaching team in designing and implementing a developmentally appropriate curriculum according to the guidelines established by Bright Horizons and NAEYC.
  • Create Developmentally appropriate lesson plans that foster physical, cognitive, social, emotional and language/literacy development for children ages 3-5.
  • Received recognition for dedication and commitment, leadership and guidance, reliability, and excellent classroom management skills.
  • Implemented child care licensing requirements and regulations.
  • Created school-age lesson plans and activities including; art projects, health awareness ideas, and physical and cognitive games.

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Top 10 Best States for Preschool Lead Teachers

  1. Nevada
  2. Minnesota
  3. California
  4. New York
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Arizona
  7. Connecticut
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Michigan
  • (225 jobs)
  • (296 jobs)
  • (1,641 jobs)
  • (440 jobs)
  • (413 jobs)
  • (269 jobs)
  • (136 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (176 jobs)
  • (397 jobs)

Preschool Lead Teacher Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 9,718 Preschool Lead Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Preschool Lead Teacher Resume

View Resume Examples

Preschool Lead Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

87.6%

Male

9.3%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

66.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

73.9%

French

4.2%

German

3.9%

Japanese

2.8%

Korean

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Portuguese

1.8%

Dakota

1.4%

Arabic

1.1%

Romanian

0.7%

Mandarin

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Greek

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Swahili

0.4%

Turkish

0.4%

Samoan

0.4%
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Preschool Lead Teacher Education

Schools

Ashford University

16.4%

Grand Canyon University

7.1%

Kaplan University

6.5%

Central Michigan University

5.4%

Eastern Michigan University

5.2%

Ohio State University

5.2%

Wheelock College

4.5%

Baker College

4.3%

Liberty University

4.3%

Rasmussen College

4.1%

Western Michigan University

3.9%

Capella University

3.9%

Lesley University

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

University of Cincinnati

3.6%

Walden University

3.6%

Columbus State Community College

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Bowling Green State University

3.4%
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Majors

Early Childhood Education

29.2%

Elementary Education

12.4%

Human Development

10.7%

Education

8.2%

Psychology

8.0%

Business

5.0%

Special Education

3.2%

Human Services

2.3%

Counseling Psychology

2.2%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Nursing

1.9%

Medical Assisting Services

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

General Studies

1.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.7%

Social Work

1.5%

Sociology

1.4%

English

1.4%

Communication

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.5%

Associate

21.1%

Masters

14.2%

High School Diploma

11.2%

Certificate

6.1%

Diploma

2.3%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Preschool Lead Teacher Videos

A Day in the Life of an Early Childhood Teacher - Melinda Ferris

The Garden Center - A Child-Created, Teacher Modeled Dramatic Play Center

A Day in the Life a Preschool Teacher

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Updated May 18, 2020