What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?

A preschool teacher may be responsible for helping the children to create art projects.
Preschool teachers must deal with the social dynamics of their students.
Computers may be used to teach educational skills to preschoolers.
A preschool teacher may be expected to follow a set curriculum while teaching children.
Preschool teachers prepare young students for a formal education.
Article Details
  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2015
  • Copyright Protected:
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A preschool teacher is expected to keep order and promote safety in a classroom filled with children. He or she is responsible not only for watching young toddlers but also for teaching them basic skills associated with learning. Some of this might entail formal training, but other aspects of instruction might be in response to the needs of the students. Ultimately, a preschool teacher should prepare young children for formal education. Preschool teachers often must have some type of teaching experience or might qualify with the appropriate level of college education and a formal certification.

There might be a formal curriculum that a preschool teacher is expected to follow while teaching children. An educator likely will expect that the lessons be taught to children in a friendly and encouraging way that recognizes the progress that students make. Teachers are expected to use communication skills to relate to children who might be at different stages of learning. It also is possible that a preschool teacher might need to be bilingual to teach children who do not have a command of the native language of the region.

The teacher's duties might also include creating art and music projects for the kids. These programs might be routinely used on a certain day of the week, giving students a chance to learn to expect a certain experience on given days. This approach also might introduce a component of fun into the learning process while simultaneously building social and creativity skills.

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Requirements for preschool teachers also extend to ensuring safe environments for children. For instance, students should be taught order, such as lining up at the door in a routine manner. If there is a fire drill or a real emergency, the teacher is responsible for preparing children how to respond and doing everything possible to keep the kids safe.

The compensation for preschool teachers might be modest. Medical benefits might be provided, depending on the region in which a school is located and the preference and resources of the facility. Benefits typically include a break during the summer months when school is out of session in addition to vacation days on certain holidays.

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anon990007
Post 5

They make the job safe and fun for the kids they work with. They play with the kids, feed them and make the kids' day one to remember.

mobilian33
Post 4

@Animandel - Sure we want decent people as preschool teachers, but you are taking the concept too far if you expect preschool teachers to meet the same requirements as teachers who teach school-aged kids.

I know a young girl who works with preschoolers at the local church preschool program. She is great with the children and they love her. If she had to have a college degree then she would not be doing the job. I see preschool teachers more as teacher's aides rather than teachers in the traditional sense.

Animandel
Post 3

@Sporkasia - One of the main reasons preschool teachers are not appreciated as you say is because the standards for a preschool teacher here in the United States vary so much. When my children were in preschool, some of the teachers at the school had four year degrees and they were teaching while pursuing higher level teaching degrees.

At the same time, there were other preschool teachers at the school who had come straight out of high school and they were teaching preschoolers. Once we set some challenging basic requirements on a national level for how to become a preschool teacher, these teachers will gain more respect. This will also help to increase the average salary for these positions, and then more qualified people will go after the available positions.

Sporkasia
Post 2

Preschool teachers are underappreciated. While preschoolers are not learning complicated lessons or studying complex subjects, they are learning at an incredibly fast rate, and they are absorbing almost everything put before them. Teachers and guidance at this age is as important as it will ever be in their lifetimes.

While I have the greatest amount of respect for the high school calculus teacher, I believe that students who do not receive a good start in learning at a young age will probably never need a calculus teacher because they will not advance that far.

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