Kindergarten Teacher Job Description

A kindergarten teacher job description not only includes teaching the basics of reading, mathematics, personal hygiene, social skills, health, and the arts to young children. It also requires the ability to manage noisy classrooms, observe students’ behaviors and physical well-being, and monitor their many activities. Furthermore, a kindergarten or elementary school teacher often has to perform these tasks simultaneously, all the while remaining calm and patient. Teaching kindergarten students can be, at times, an overwhelming job, but it’s also one of the most sought-after and rewarding careers in education.

Educational Requirements

In order to understand a Kindergarten Teacher Job Description, one must understand the educational requirements. Kindergarten teachers are expected to have a bachelor degree, and a focus in Early Childhood Education is particularly useful for the position. All states require public school teachers to obtain a teaching certificate through the individual state’s board of education. In order to obtain a teaching certificate, candidates must have both a bachelor degree and have completed certain prerequisites, including student or practice teaching, as well as passing a certification exam. Prospective teachers will usually have to practice teach under the guidance of a certified teacher for a specified amount of time, sometimes up to a year or more.

Teachers who wish to teach in private schools generally do not need a teaching certificate.

While pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education, students will take a variety of courses, including but not limited to:

  • Child Psychology
  • Fundamentals of Math and English
  • Basic Composition
  • Basics of Nutrition and Health
  • United States History
  • Fine Arts
  • Discipline Courses
  • Curriculum Development
  • Courses in Technology/Computer Literacy

Career Options: What you can do with a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education

Teaching Kindergarten isn’t the only career path one can follow with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Additionally, degree holders can work in the following educational fields:

  • Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Teaching or Administration: Most preschools do not require their teachers to have a bachelor degree, but the experience and education gained in achieving the degree is most useful for any position involving child care and/or education. Additionally, the degree is helpful for achieving an administrative or management position within a preschool. Management positions involve supervising staff, establishing curriculum, setting budgets, hiring teachers, and ensuring the school meets all of the state and federal education requirements.
  • Day Care: As with preschools, day care centers usually don’t require candidates to have a degree. However, an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree may be desired for administrative or management positions. Graduates can also establish their own day care centers with a Bachelor’s Degree, but starting any business usually requires taking business training and courses.
  • First, Second, and Third Grade Teaching: A Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education also allows a graduate to pursue a career teaching elementary school grades other than Kindergarten.
  • Head Start Program Direction: The Head Start Program is a federally-funded education program for low-income families. Head Start not only focuses on academics for the under-served, it also incorporates aspects of nutrition, health, social development, and building familial relationships. Head Start Directors manage all aspects of a Head Start center or program, including grant procurement, establishing curriculum, developing instructor performance standards, setting nutritional guidelines, handling budget allocations, and hiring teachers. While a bachelor degree is the minimum requirement for this position, additional training in Head Start as well as administration is mandatory.

Post-secondary Education: Graduates with a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education can pursue teaching in post-secondary settings such as colleges or universities. However, a bachelor degree is the bare minimum requirement for these teaching positions. Most colleges and universities require professors to have master degrees or Ph.D.s in their fields.

What to Consider if you Pursue a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education

As always, demand is high for all over the country for qualified public school teachers who are passionate about and dedicated to educating children. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kindergarten and elementary school teaching careers are experiencing a projected growth of 17% through 2020, depending on the region. As of 2010, elementary school teachers earned a median salary of around $51,000 per year. During the same year, Kindergarten teachers earned a median salary of approximately $48,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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