Kindergarten Teacher: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements

Kindergarten teachers explain basic academic concepts to children and help them develop cognitive, social and emotional skills. Read on to learn more about the duties, job outlook and required education and professional credentials of kindergarten teachers. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are The Duties of a Kindergarten Teacher?

Kindergarten is often the first school experience for young children, especially for those who did not attend preschool. As a kindergarten teacher, it's your responsibility to introduce and reinforce their understanding of how school works. Through the use of play, toys and other hands-on techniques, you'll help students develop socially, cognitively, emotionally and physically.

Your duties will include teaching basic language, writing, reading and creative skills. You'll instill basic academic concepts such as hand-raising, forming lines, homework, speaking voices and classroom organization.

Other duties will include preparing homework, conducting classroom activities, meeting with parents, managing the classroom and teaching aides, creating lesson plans and assessing student development. You'll work with other teachers, parents and school officials to address children with disciplinary issues or those who are developing slower than others.

What Is My Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that between 2008 and 2018, kindergarten teachers can anticipate an increase in job opportunities (www.bls.gov). Most openings will be the result of a large number of teachers who are expected to retire during this period. Demand will be highest for teachers who are willing to work in less desirable school districts as well as for teachers whose background and education are in science, bilingual education or math, according to the BLS.

In May 2010, kindergarten teachers made an average annual salary of $51,550, the BLS stated. The industries with the highest levels of kindergarten teachers were in elementary and secondary schools, followed by day care services. These teachers earned an annual salary of $52,660 and $31,980, respectively.

What Type of Education Do I Need?

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree and a state teacher's license to work as a kindergarten teacher at a public school. A bachelor's degree in early childhood education is a common major for this occupation. This major is also available as a master's degree program at some schools.

These programs focus on childhood and language development, family dynamics and the psychology of children. They provide courses in curriculum building, classroom safety, literacy, the use of play in development and assessment skills. Early childhood education programs may also include student teaching practicums or sessions that are required to qualify for state licensure.

How Do I Earn A Teaching License?

Every state requires public school kindergarten teachers to be licensed and requirements vary by state. You'll need to check with your state's Department of Education. After you have obtained your state teaching license, you can consider taking one of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) voluntary certification exams (www.nbpts.org). The NBPTS offers 25 certification exams that are valid for 10 years.

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