how to be a preschool teacher

Preschool teachers create their own kind of magic, inspiring children to learn about themselves and the world around them while laying the foundation for future learning. Preschool is all about exploring, thinking creatively, taking risks, making mistakes, and having fun.

Preschool teachers are the nurturers who provide a safe, happy place for children to learn and grow. These educational professionals work with students from ages three to five, laying the groundwork for future academic success. Some preschools hire infant teachers and toddler teachers for the younger children in the schools.

If you’re interested in learning how to be a preschool teacher, this guide will provide a helpful starting point.

What Does A Preschool Teacher Do?

To understand how to be a preschool teacher, you first need to know what exactly preschool teachers do.

Preschool teachers work with children between three and five years of age (sometimes up to age eight and sometimes as young as 6 months) helping them learn through play, develop social skills, and build self-confidence. Teachers plan activities for individuals or groups of children that promote language development, creative expression, physical coordination, cognitive understanding, social awareness, and responsible behavior. They encourage children to express their emotions appropriately and respect the feelings of others.

Preschool teachers motivate children by building their self-esteem, showing them how much fun it is to learn, leading by example, using games and music, creating a caring classroom community where everyone succeeds. They are always observing each child’s progress in all areas of development, including physical well-being, social skills, language skills (communication), cognitive learning abilities (problem-solving skills), emotional growth (self-control), creativity, artistic skills, and fine motor abilities.

They also collaborate with other staff members, including the director/owner of the school or center, teachers who work directly with specific age groups, and parents. They also work with volunteers, paraprofessionals working directly with children, specialists such as librarians and music, art, and physical education teachers, and other professionals like speech therapists and social workers.

Where Preschool Teachers Work

Knowing how to become a good preschool teacher means being flexible with different work environments, such as:

  • Schools: Preschools (also called nursery schools), kindergartens, and childcare centers
  • Home-based care: Centers that offer preschool program in a child’s own home
  • Workplace: Some employers provide on-site daycare for employees’ children or subsidize costs of sending their children to outside preschools/centers if parents work at the same site.

Qualifications To Be A Good Preschool Teacher

Most preschool teachers have a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on early childhood development (ECD) or a child development associate (CDA) credential which you can get after completing approximately one year of on-the-job training under supervision PLUS passing a national exam. 

In some states, CDA is equal to completing an associates’ degree. Childcare workers must complete approximately 110 hours of on-the-job training under supervision, plus pass a state exam to become nationally certified as early childhood education teacher assistant (TA).

Here are some of the basic requirements to become a preschool teacher in the U.S.:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education
  • Be state-certified (in all states) and/or nationally-certified (in some states)
  • Have a clean background check with no felony convictions
  • Genuine love of nurturing and working with children

Find The Best Educational System For Children Through Cadence Education

Teachers play an important role in the lives of young children, helping them to develop the essential skills they need to excel in school and achieve their dreams. That’s why it’s essential to know how to be a good preschool teacher. Working with preschool age children can be both rewarding and challenging, especially considering that there are many different kinds of schools available where teachers can work.

Cadence Education has a network of the best preschools in the country, with the most qualified teachers, specialists, and care staff. Contact Cadence Education today to ask about our child care and education programs and teaching opportunities.We have openings nationwide for preschool teachers, toddler teachers and infant teachers.