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Requirements to Become a Preschool Teacher

Arjun Kulkarni
Do you want to become a preschool teacher? Know about the job requirements here.
If you love working with kids and revel in the company of bright, young and inquisitive minds, you should probably consider a career as a preschool teacher. They do an admirable job, training children and teaching them how to think and imparting basic knowledge to prepare them for kindergarten.


Preschool teachers are generally defined (and differ) from one state to another. While a private preschool can have a teacher with any qualifications, requirements are generally fixed by the state in which the school is based. 
While even a high school graduation is deemed to be sufficient, most of them will require a college degree in child development.
The reason for this is easy to appreciate of course. Preschool doesn't really have so much of a fixed curriculum rather than an overall education which the school deems to be absolutely vital to the development of the preschooler. From this point of view, there are several colleges which impart specific techniques for teaching children of such tender age.
The state may also decide that clearing a test based on handling different day-to-day situations in preschool environment is one of the requirements. So they may well have to give such a test in order to practice as preschool teachers in their state. Clearing this test will give them a teaching license.
Most states allow a preschool teacher to apply for the job when they have a child care license. Some states prefer an additional Associates degree in child care/early development.
The Council for Professional Recognition has a specific course that requires applicants to already have a high school diploma. The applicant is expected to show all their teaching experience for the past 5 years, after which they will enter the next phase. This includes a 2 hour test, followed by an oral test.
Apart from this, some schools may also require a person to undergo some student-teacher programs and have a body of work under his belt as an assistant teacher. Dealing with kids this age can be a little tough and hence, it is important to have the required experience.

Job Description

But more than the educational requirements, emphasis needs to be laid on the personal qualities of a budding preschool teacher. Teaching preschool kids will need a teacher to be immensely patient.
There is a point where teaching becomes less related to the curriculum and more focused on setting the right attitude about life in the kids. It is more of a mix of loving and imparting knowledge at the same time as any efforts to teach dispassionately will be thoroughly rejected by the children.
Child development can also make children difficult to educate. It is important that a teacher be able to deftly put up with their stubbornness. An important requirement is the ability to get these children to socialize with each other, thus improving their social skills and their ability to talk to other people.
Other tasks include vocabulary development, helping children learn to associate pictures with words and learn the basics of language and numbers.

Salary Range

The outlook for appears to be bright for a few reasons. Firstly, there is a substantial labor turnover rate in this job and hence the requirements in schools are quite common. Secondly, the preschool industry itself is expected to grow pretty fast over the next few years.
The median salary is pegged at around $28,620 annually. But teachers in better schools with a rich teaching experience stand to earn up to $50,000 annually.
But apart from the remuneration itself is the job satisfaction of imparting knowledge to these young minds who might shape our future in the years to come.