If you like working with kids and want to teach, you might want to think about becoming a kindergarten teacher. To do this, you may need to get a state teaching certificate or meet certain education requirements.
Since both of these will take time, you should think about how much time you have to spend on this career path.
This article talks about what a kindergarten teacher does and how to become a kindergarten teacher, as well as the steps to take and skills that are needed.
Who is a Kindergarten Teacher?
A kindergarten teacher is a type of early childhood educator who works with kids who are five years old and in the year before they start first grade.
Some kindergarten teachers may also have a specialization in another subject, such as music or art, that they teach in addition to the normal things they have to do as teachers. They are in charge of a wide range of tasks, such as making lesson plans, keeping grade books, and giving tests.
What does a Kindergarten Teacher Do?
There are many things that kindergarten teachers have to do. Here are some of the most common things you’ll have to do in this job:
- Kindergarten teachers in an elementary school classroom
- Making plans for lessons
- Administering tests
- Teaching students in many different subjects, like math, science, language, and more
- Using different methods to teach students the basic skills they need to know
- giving students hands-on opportunities to learn
- keeping students’ grade books
- Keeping track of homework and tests
- Using rewards to keep students interested
- one-on-one tutoring for students who need it
- figuring out whether goals are being met
- judging how well each student did
How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher
If you want to teach kindergarten, you should work with younger kids first. Volunteering as a teacher’s aide, helping out at a daycare, or watching a kindergarten class are all ways to do this. Follow these steps to start your career as a kindergarten teacher if you still want to be one:
1. Get a bachelor’s degree
To teach kindergarten, you need a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or a related field from an accredited, state-approved program. Check both what your state requires and what degrees different schools offer. The average time it takes to get a bachelor’s degree is four years.
2. Do an internship as a student teacher
Depending on the program you’re in, you may have to do an internship as a student teacher before you can get your teaching certificate. This will give you classroom experience and give you the chance to learn from people who work in your field.
This process usually takes between one and two semesters, but you’ll finish it while you’re still in college.
At the start of your internship, you’ll probably watch a teacher in their own classroom and teach a few lessons with the help of a mentor.
In the second half of your internship, you’ll work in a classroom with a licensed teacher to make your own lesson plans and curriculum.
3. Get your teacher’s license.
If you want to teach in a public school, you’ll also have to get a license from the state where you want to work. If you want to teach at a private school, you might need a state teaching license or you might not
It’s also important to remember that each state has its own rules for getting a license. You can talk to your state’s Board of Education to find out more about what it requires.
Different people will take different amounts of time to get their certification. Most people get their certification while they are in college, and it takes about four years to become a kindergarten teacher.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in something other than education, you’ll need to take a one- to two-year alternative teaching certification program.
4. Apply for jobs
Once you meet the requirements, you can start looking for jobs teaching kindergarten. Use Indeed to help you find a job, and make sure to check that each listing has all the qualifications you need. You can also use Indeed to help you make a resume and cover letter for a teaching job.
5. Get a graduate degree
Depending on where you live, you may need a master’s degree. During your graduate courses, you’ll be able to learn more about early childhood education and do research in your field. This will make your timeline one to two years longer.
How Long it Takes to Become a Kindergarten Teacher
It typically takes four years of college study after high school graduation to earn certification to teach kindergarten.
The reason behind this is that most bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete, and a bachelor’s degree is required to become a teacher. Depending on how many classes you take, you might be able to get your bachelor’s in three years.
To become a kindergarten teacher, you may also need a state teaching certificate. You can get your certificate while you are still in college.
If the undergraduate program you’re in is related to your field, you may only need to take a couple of classes, pass the certification exam, and finish the teacher preparation program.
If you don’t pass your certification tests by the time you graduate, you’ll have to do them again before the next school year starts. In some cases, you could get a job even if you don’t have a certificate, but your employer would still want you to get one within a certain amount of time.
Also, If you want to teach but don’t have a bachelor’s degree in the subject you want to teach, you can go through an alternative program to get certified to teach.
You might also need a master’s degree. If this is the case, it will take one to two years more on top of the time it took you to get your bachelor’s degree and certification.
The time it takes to become a kindergarten teacher can vary a lot, but in general, it takes between four and eight years.
Kindergarten Teacher Skills and Qualities
Here are some skills and traits you should work on getting before and while teaching kindergarten:
- Empathy: Since you’ll be teaching young people, it’s important to understand how they feel and what worries them.
- Creativity skills: As a kindergarten teacher, it’s important to come up with new ideas to keep your students interested in class. This will help them think outside the box and find new ways to show their artistic side.
- Patience: Because you’ll be working with younger students, you’ll need to show patience or be able to handle hard situations.
- Classroom management: If you want to teach kindergarten, you’ll need to be able to run your classroom well. This means being fair and making sure that everyone has access to a good place to learn.
- Good communication skills: As a teacher, it’s important to be able to communicate well both orally and in writing. This is because you will spend most of your day talking to students and other teachers.
- Dedication: If you want to be a good teacher, you have to stay committed to giving good education.
- Conflict resolution: Since you’ll be working with many different kinds of people, it’s important to be able to stop fights when they start.
- Organizational skills: If you want your classroom to be a good place to learn, it’s important to keep it clean and organized. You’ll also need to keep your files and system for giving grades in order.
There is no doubt that working with children is enjoyable, but it also comes with its fair share of difficulties. To succeed as a kindergarten teacher, you need to have a genuine interest in teaching and the patience to deal with young students.