Preschool Teachers belong to the Artistic Theme Code Category of the Strong Interest Inventory®. This Inventory has been developed and refined by professionals over the better part of a century with the goal of helping individuals find a career which is a good fit for them. This analysis is based on a detailed assessment as well as a database of careers, which are categorized into six Theme Codes. The Artistic Theme Code Category contains careers which emphasize the visual, performing, and culinary arts, and which are preferred by those who have a strong emotional and empathetic connection with others.
Preschool Teachers instruct young children by leading them in activities and games that are meant to promote their intellectual, social, and physical development. Preschool Teachers lay the foundation that prepares students for primary school and for the rest of their lives. These activities may include arts and crafts, storytelling, music, and field trips. They teach basic skills and concepts like colors, shapes, numbers and letters, and personal hygiene. Preschool Teachers read stories to the entire class and ask interactive questions that encourage students to actively think about the plot, react to the stories, and make predictions about what they think will happen next. They also organize class visits, projects, field trips, and other experiential learning activities and guide students in learning from those various activities. Because of the short attention span of most young children, Preschool Teachers should be extremely engaging and present short but interesting lessons that give students ample flexibility to explore themes and concepts with a balance of guidance and independence.
In addition to active instruction, a Preschool Teacher also attends staff meetings, professional meetings, conferences, and training workshops to remain up to date on the most innovative techniques and strategies for instruction. They may collaborate with other teachers, administrators, school board members, and others in order to develop and optimize instructional time. Lastly, they have a responsibility to make assessments periodically throughout the academic year. Above all, Preschool Teachers must ensure that each student under their care receives a quality education. Regardless of any disabilities students may have, Preschool Teachers must provide assistive devices, supportive technology, or other resources to any students with special needs.
Preschool Teachers use many different kinds of tools and technologies in their daily careers. For instructional purposes, these may include educational board games, puzzles, tactile toys, cognitive toys, and blocks for use and engagement with children. They utilize traditional office supplies such as photocopiers, personal computers, printers, laminators and more to use for material preparation and document keeping. They also use children’s educational software to introduce students to digital interfaces. Microsoft Office Suite is a tool sometimes used for designing assignments and communicating with parents.
Preschool Teachers must be educational and customer service professionals. They must know principles and methods for curriculum design, teaching and instruction, and educational evaluation, while also having the knowledge of principles and processes of customer service. A basic understanding of child developmental and behavioral psychology is also helpful, as is proficiency in English and any other relevant languages of instruction.
Most Preschool Teachers hold at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, though some assistants may only hold a high school diploma. Every state requires their own state certification in order for individuals to legally become Preschool Teachers. Nationally, a Preschool Teacher’s salary averages $28,570 annually. However, in some states such as New York, Preschool Teachers annual salaries can be as high as $78,000. Other states, like Louisiana and Kentucky have much higher averages, sometimes nearing $40,000 annually, but with even the best-paid Preschool Teachers making under $60,000. The employment of Preschool Teachers is projected to increase steadily before 2024 at a rate of 5% to 8%. However, growth rates in Maryland and Nevada are both over 30%, while rates in the western states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho, are all well above 25%. The greatest number of jobs by far is projected to be added by Texas with this state alone projected to add nearly 8,000 new Preschool Teacher jobs before 2024.
Below are some employment trends for Preschool Teachers:
- Median Preschool Teacher Salary: $13.74/hour; $28,570 annually
- Employment: 441,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2024): average (5% to 8%)
- Projected job openings (2014-2024): 158,700
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org