5 Reasons You Should Become a Preschool TeacherPosted September 3, 2013 | By csponline
Give a child a head start in their education as a preschool teacher—just one of the many careers in child development open to education professionals. Here are five reasons you should become a preschool teacher.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects tremendous occupational growth for educators who specialize in early education. In fact, the BLS estimates a 25 percent growth in employment for preschool teachers through the next decade, which is faster than the national average. The driving demand for these teachers is assisted by the expected population increase of children ages 3 to 5. Preschool teachers can work in a variety of settings. The top employer of preschool teachers is child day care services, which employ 30 percent of preschool teachers. Elementary and secondary schools employ 12 percent of today’s preschool teachers while religious, professional and civic organizations employ another 17 percent.
There are tremendous expectations placed on children entering kindergarten in regards to their academic, social and emotional development. Kindergarten readiness begins in preschool (sometimes sooner) and is crucial to the child’s classroom achievement later down the road. Preschool teachers help to support a child’s personal, academic and social progress at this crucial stage in their overall brain development. Basic competencies a preschool teacher will focus on in the classroom include the following:
- Social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Language and literacy
- Mathematical thinking
- Scientific thinking
- Social studies
- The arts
Supporting preschool children in these developmental areas will ensure they are prepared and ready for accelerated learning environments and will facilitate an enhanced educational experience.
Preschool teachers stand as a notable role model in a child’s early life. Early childhood educators support children during a pivotal time of academic development and personal growth in and out of the classroom. Preschool is sometimes a child’s first time away from their parents for an extended period of time. It can be a scary endeavor for children; however, as a positive and calm preschool teacher, you can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety often associated with this milestone. Preschool is also often the first time children engage and socialize with other children. As a teacher, you facilitate relationship building exercises that help children bridge social gaps to make new friends and establish social skills.
At this age, children learn best when they are having fun. Preschool teachers get to create entertaining, engaging and creative classrooms that promote learning as well as social, cognitive and emotional development. In fact, no day on the job will ever be the same when you enter one of the many careers in early child development. Learning milestones are broad and preschool teachers must look for ways to incorporate multiple subject areas into a singular lesson so it is important to be creative. You might act out a storybook one day or create a map of the U.S. out of dried pasta noodles the next. The key is to make sure all activities are educational and help children to progress in their academics, social skills, cognitive skills and emotional development.
Teachers of all grades are valuable to society. Early childhood teachers work with children at the start of their educational journey and help them to understand and attain some of the most basic and foundational academic, social, cognitive and emotional concepts. Don’t ignore the call for early childhood education. If you have a passion for education and enjoy working with small children, consider a career as a preschool teacher.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in child development online should be your first step if you decide to pursue a career as a preschool degree. A bachelor’s degree will improve your job prospects when searching for careers in child development.
I can’t even remember all the times I’ve been asked the question: “Why would you want to be a teacher?” I hear all about how little teachers are paid, and how people “just don’t know how you do it.” I have had people treat me like they don’t really think preschool teachers are teachers, rather, over-paid babysitters. I wrote a blog post on it once, so did my friend, Kristi Sauer.
I’ve written about why preschool is important. What I haven’t written about, was why I choose to be a preschool teacher, or more like, why I stay a preschool teacher. It doesn’t pay great, especially if you are working in a child care setting. Working for a school district pays significantly better, but still doesn’t offer some of the benefits that “regular” teachers get (such as health care, pay stretched out over the summer, etc.).
Those things don’t matter so much to me. Yes, this has led to some huge financial struggles over the years, but to me, doing what I love is more important. There have been a couple of amazing opportunities over the years that I have passed up on. The pay on said positions was much higher, but they weren’t teaching jobs. A Director position wasn’t hands on enough for me…
My passion is to teach young children. The highlights of my days at work are when I see a child’s eyes light up when they learn/try something new. When they suddenly are able to make the letters in their name, or do something they weren’t previously able to do, I get as excited as they do. When a class full of 4-5 year olds suddenly takes an interest in letters, words, rhyming, and trying to read, it makes every day worth it. When my preschoolers are lined up waiting to come into class, and then run in and give me a hug, it warms my heart.
Not every day is easy. There are days that my patience is tested to the limit. There are days that I come home from work, and I don’t want to talk to anyone. But, most days, I come home as exhilarated as I am exhausted. Although there are a ton of things that I enjoy doing outside of work, none of them are quite as fulfilling as teaching those little ones who soak up everything I can give them!
Bookmark the permalink.