Kindergarten teachers teach children from four to six years of age numbers, letter recognition, phonics and offer a simple review of nature and science. A kindergarten teacher helps children advance mentally and socially. They help kindergartners learn to communicate and play with other kids.
Kindergarten teachers provide hands-on-learning and playtime. They give children constructive outlets for their curiosity about various topics. Kindergarten instructors utilize music, games, computers, books, artwork and other tools to teach children basic skills.
- Provide Kindergartners with resources and materials they may use for exploration, learning activities and for play
- Teach basic skills including numbers, letter recognition, colors and shapes
- Attend meetings of the parent-teacher association and the school board
- Teach social skills and personal hygiene
- Discuss with parents their children's progress
- Monitor and evaluate children's behavior, performance, physical health and social development
- Establish and enforce rules of behavior
- Prepare children for later grades
- Plan and oversee activities
- Demonstrate activities to Kindergartners
Most school districts use an all-day Kindergarten system, however some Kindergarten instructors still teach two Kindergarten classes per day. They sometimes develop lesson plans during after school hours. Sometimes Kindergarten teachers attend late-day meetings. Most Kindergarten teachers work the basic 10-month school year and have a two month summer vacation.
Kindergarten instructors often have to deal with a fast pace. They may occasionally have to deal with unruly children. Kindergarten teachers often get satisfaction in their job by watching the kindergartners advance in their skills and advance socially.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 16 percent growth in employment for Kindergarten teachers from 2006 to 2016. The growth rate will vary by region. In 2008 the median annual salary for Kindergarten teachers was $47,100.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
The traditional path for getting a job teaching in public schools is earning a bachelor's degree form a teacher education program and acquiring a license. However, most states provide alterative paths to licensure for people that have a college degree in other subjects. Private school teachers typically need a bachelor's degree but do not have to be licensed.
Education programs for Kindergarten teachers include classes created for those that are preparing to teach. Classes include physical science, literature mathematics, art, music and social science. They also take professional education courses including psychology of learning, philosophy of education and teaching methods.
The Teacher Education Accreditation Council and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education provide accreditation for teacher education programs. Graduating from an accredited program is not required for becoming a teacher, however, it may make it easier to fulfill licensure requirements.
Many states provide professional development schools which are partnerships of elementary or secondary schools and universities. These schools combine practice and theory and provide students the opportunity to be involved in a year of teaching under professional guidance. Students may participate in these one year programs after they earn a bachelor's degree.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Education Association
- American Federation of Teachers
The major employers are public schools and private schools.
Schools for Kindergarten Teachers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.