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Kindergarten Teacher: Job Outlook & Career Info

A kindergarten teacher's primary responsibility is to introduce children to formal education in a way that instills a love of learning that lasts throughout their life. Kindergarten teachers achieve this by providing an engaging environment that fosters curiosity and spurs a child to pursue knowledge on their own. Read further to explore the requirements and benefits of this profession.

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  • Teacher Education, Multiple Levels
  • Teaching, Adults
  • Teaching, Elementary
  • Teaching, High School
  • Teaching, Junior High
  • Teaching, Kindergarten and Preschool
  • Teaching, Waldorf and Steiner Education
  • Teaching, Young Children

Career Definition for Kindergarten Teachers

Kindergarten teachers help students develop problem solving and critical thinking skills by creating a stimulating instructional approach designed around play and discovery. Kindergarten teachers also help children learn social skills and self-control and acquire self-esteem, which together provide the foundation for future academic and life success, according to the Alliance for Childhood, www.allianceforchildhool.org.

New academic standards have now made kindergarten teachers responsible for teaching letter recognition, phonics, numbers, and reading strategies- tasks that may have been postponed until elementary school in the past.

Education Bachelor's in education or related field and licensure
Job Duties Encourage problem-solving and critical thinking, teach social skills
Median Salary (2015)* $51,640 (kindergarten teachers, except special education)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (kindergarten teachers, except special education)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

All teachers must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Most kindergarten teachers earn their degree in early childhood development or education, where they learn theories of child development, curriculum planning, child language acquisition, and play and learning. Those planning a career in the public schools must also obtain a license from their state's board of education, which requires a minimum number of continuing education hours for license renewal. Requirements for positions at private schools vary widely.

Skills Required

Kindergarten teachers must be caring individuals who inspire trust and hold a deep belief in each child's potential. They should have an ability to keep children engaged while maintaining order and be able to respond to the ever-changing needs of children. The ability to work well with students' parents is also a must.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov, employment of kindergarten teachers was expected to grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Many teachers are expected to retire, which creates additional job openings for new kindergarten teachers. As of May 2015, the median wage for kindergarten teachers was $51,640.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Librarian

Usually needing a master's degree in library science, job duties of librarians vary according to the type of library, but they often help people who seek information for professional or personal use. Slower-than-average employment growth of 2% was projected by the BLS during the 2014-2024 decade, and these positions paid an annual median salary of $56,880 in 2015.

Preschool Teacher

The education requirements may vary, depending on the state and institution, but often an associate's degree will suffice. Preschool teachers work with learners who are normally ages 3-5, teaching them literacy skills, science, and other topics geared toward their age group. An average employment growth of 7% was expected by the BLS from 2014-2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that these teachers earned a median wage of $28,570 per year.

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