Looking for information regarding how to become a preschool teacher? Read the following article on becoming a preschool teacher to know more.

How To Become A Preschool Teacher

If you love children and enjoy playing and spending time with them then a career as a preschool teacher will be less of a work and more fun for you. Creating new ways to captivate the minds of kids aged 2-5 years old is challenging and requires both imagination and patience. Abundant energy, sky high patience level, good knowledge about the various first aid measures and most importantly, a child-loving heart are pre-requisites to become a preschool teacher. Preschool prepares the little ones for Kindergarten and it is through personal interaction and plays that most preschool teachers help children learn. They encourage a student's curiosity and imagination, and give children the confidence to ask questions and explore answers using all five senses. A good preschool teacher helps the children adjust to group settings. However, watching the tiny tots grow up is both rewarding and challenging. Read the next section to know how to become a preschool teacher.
Becoming A Preschool Teacher
Although a Bachelor’s degree is not mandatory, most employers prefer candidates with a basic graduation. Prospective preschool teachers typically complete courses such as child development, child psychology, curriculum methods, instructional design, classroom management and behaviour etc. Preschool teaching programs require student teaching experiences where the interested candidates teach in actual classrooms under the supervision of experienced teachers. Most employers require preschool teachers to be certified in infant and child CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and first aid. All states require preschool teachers to be licensed. Requirements vary by state, but typically include completing an approved teacher-training program and passing an examination.
Courses Required
  • Childhood development programs for greater understanding of the competencies, abilities and needs of the children being taught.
  • A general class in instructional methods provides a preschool teacher with information on current theories in instruction, best practices and recent research. Specific topics covered in these classes include behaviour management, team building and educational strategy.
  • A class in curriculum development can aid the preschool teacher in building an effective preschool program that can increase the students' overall development. 
Skills Required
  • Patience and the ability to stay calm
  • Class room management skills and leadership qualities
  • Enthusiasm for both learning and teaching
  • Good communication skills
  • Problem solving and ability to think on the feet
  • Supportiveness and approachability
  • Adaptability and the ability to interact with young students, their parents and colleagues
  • Organizational skills to make lesson plans; coordinate lunches, naps and recess periods; prepare field trips and special events and checking the classroom for safety and health reasons.
  • Healthy stress management skills 
Roles And Responsibilities
  • Preschool teachers instruct tiny toddlers in basic skills such as recognition of the alphabet, numbers and colours. They also teach counting skills, beginning handwriting and social skills. Preschool teachers require good communication skills to explain new tasks to young children and discuss individual child's progress with his/her parents.
  • Preschool teachers help the students learn mainly through games and interactive activities. Capitalizing on the children's playfulness to improve language and vocabulary development is a primary duty of a preschool teacher.
  • A preschool teacher uses storytelling, rhyming games and acting games to improve a child’s social skills and even introduce scientific and mathematical concepts. A preschool setting is more of a playschool that employs a less structured approach and includes small-group lessons, one-on-one instruction and learning through creative activities like music, art, and dance. Lots of discussion and collaborative problem solving characterize a preschool classroom.
  • Exercises that teach kindness, interpersonal skills, hygiene, basic survival skills like cutting, using cutlery, etc are also an important duty of a preschool teacher.
Career Prospects
Over the years, with a rich and extensive job experience and either a bachelor’s or an associate college education, a preschool teacher may even become Supervisor or Director at preschool, Montessori and other pre-kindergarten environments. A preschool teacher finds employment opportunities in day-care/learning centres, private or public preschools or even as a private tutor. If however, you feel the need to graduate to higher levels of teaching then you may take up additional courses to do so.
Juggling the emotional, educational, administrative and creative tasks involved in a preschool teacher's job is certainly daunting but the rewards and perks of this career profile make them feel worthwhile nevertheless.

More in Career Planning