Example Career: Preschool Teachers
Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.
What Job Titles Preschool Teachers Might Have
- Lead Teacher
- Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Pre-K Teacher)
- Preschool Teacher
What Preschool Teachers Do
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order.
- Organize and lead activities designed to promote physical, mental, and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, and field trips.
- Teach basic skills, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills.
- Observe and evaluate children's performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Read books to entire classes or to small groups.
- Attend to children's basic needs by feeding them, dressing them, and changing their diapers.
- Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
- Assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting activities of interest to them.
- Serve meals and snacks in accordance with nutritional guidelines.
- Teach proper eating habits and personal hygiene.
- Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
- Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
- Identify children showing signs of emotional, developmental, or health-related problems and discuss them with supervisors, parents or guardians, and child development specialists.
- Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to children.
- Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and needs, determine their priorities for their children, and suggest ways that they can promote learning and development.
- Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
- Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Arrange indoor and outdoor space to facilitate creative play, motor-skill activities, and safety.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Demonstrate activities to children.
- Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
- Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
- Organize and label materials and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills.
- Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
- Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
- Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of preschool programs.
- Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guests, or other experiential activities and guide students in learning from those activities.
- Attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required.
- Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
- Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
- Administer tests to help determine children's developmental levels, needs, and potential.
- Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
- Perform administrative duties, such as hall and cafeteria monitoring and bus loading and unloading.
- Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
What Preschool Teachers Should Be Good At
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
What Preschool Teachers Need to Learn
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.