How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher
Working as a kindergarten teacher is a remarkably satisfying career. Equal parts role model and instructor, teachers working in this capacity spend every day guiding young minds and dealing with the ups and downs children often experience. For individuals looking to become a kindergarten teacher, there are several steps that need to be completed before becoming eligible for open positions. Following these steps carefully will help to ensure a seamless transition into an exciting new career.
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree serves as a vital tool for potential employers, demonstrating a job candidate’s knowledge and experience in a particular field. Kindergarten teachers will need to obtain a degree in elementary education. These programs explore pedagogy and its relation to young children, equipping students with the tools and resources needed to succeed in the classroom. Elementary education students not only obtain a degree after completing their coursework, but also graduate with a profound understanding of how young children learn in the academic setting.
An elementary education degree actually allows a teacher to pursue a position teaching any elementary school grade. Some elementary teachers even transition to classrooms in middle schools and high schools down the road. Regardless of one’s particular ambitions, it is important to ensure that coursework is completed diligently, as this will act a vital stepping stone to a future career in the education world.
Classroom Experience: Working as a Student Teacher
Many degree programs require student teaching in order for a student to receive their degree. Others may not require this period working in the classroom, but certification programs will demand it. A student teaching opportunity gives an inexperienced individual time in a classroom under the supervision of a qualified teacher. This allows would-be teachers to learn more about how real classrooms function, and get hands-on experience that will likely prove essential in the years to come.
Student teaching opportunities may be established by the degree or certification program, or students may be tasked with finding an establishment who can welcome them. When working alongside an established teacher, students can expect to be tasked with the same responsibilities of the teacher. From instructing and giving out lessons, to answering questions and helping students deal with challenges, student teaching is a fantastic way for future teachers to try out the knowledge they have acquired in obtaining a degree.
In order to ensure a successful student teaching tenure, it is important to work closely with the resident teacher. The rules and guidelines established by that teacher should always be respected, as he or she is the authority at the end of the day. Suggestions should be made tactfully and carefully, ensuring that the teacher does not feel criticized or unfairly judged. Additionally, information learned should be carefully noted for the future.
Getting Kindergarten Teacher Certification
Kindergarten teachers are required to be certified with the state. Guidelines for these certifications vary from state to state. New teachers may be required to complete coursework, attend seminars, and undergo assessments of their abilities. After all of these steps have been completed, successful candidates receive certification that will allow them to work in any school in the state. For more information, those looking to become a kindergarten teacher should contact their state’s Board of Education.
Finding a Teaching Job
The final step in the process of becoming a kindergarten teacher is finding a classroom. Open positions may be advertised in local newspapers, online job ads, and through placement services. Instead of simply waiting for an ad to pop up, however, would-be teachers should also seek out employment in a proactive manner, sending cold resumes and cover letters to targeted schools. This will help ensure that the proper job is secured in a timely manner.
Working as a kindergarten teacher proves to be one of the most rewarding experiences of one’s life for many instructors. The joys of working with young children and equipping them for the future are largely unparalleled by other jobs. By obtaining a degree in elementary education and seeking out certification that meets state standards, those hoping to become a kindergarten teacher will be well on their way to securing a job in a classroom nearby.
- Concordia University - Saint Paul
Master of Arts in Education - Classroom Instruction with K-12 Reading Endorsement
- Capella University
EdD - Reading and Literacy
- Liberty University
Associates in Education
- American InterContinental University
Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Assessment and Evaluation