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Kindergarten Teacher Career Outlook & Job Description

A kindergarten teacher works with young children ages four through six, to promote the students’ mental, physical and social development. They instruct students by using hands-on teaching methods, games, music, art, books and computers. Children are taught general rules of acceptable behavior, so that the kindergarten teacher can maintain order in the classroom. They instruct their young students one-on-one or in groups, adapting standard teaching methods to meet students’ varying needs and interests. Kindergarten teachers play an important role in childhood development; the job requires that they be able to easily communicate with their students and inspire trust and confidence.

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Kindergarten Teacher Requirements and Common Tasks

Kindergarten teachers impart simple but important skills such as color, number, shape, and letter recognition, phonics, basic personal hygiene, and social skills such as sharing and interacting with peers. They will often read to their class, or demonstrate activities for class participation. Using various materials and resources, they allow their students to learn by exploration and hands-on discovery. Kindergarten teachers prepare materials, lessons and projects for their students, and observe and assess performance, skills, behavior and social development; they also watch for potential problems including health, developmental or emotional issues.

One of the basic requirements to become a kindergarten teacher is earning a bachelor’s degree. Many programs also require completion of a student-teaching internship before a teacher can be licensed. Many kindergarten teachers in private schools must have a degree, but no state license is necessary.

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Kindergarten Teacher Career Outlook and Salary

The median annual wage for kindergarten teachers is $47,830. Depending on the individual employer, benefits will vary. Salary will increase with years of service. Kindergarten teachers in private schools may receive slightly lower pay but increased benefits, such as free or subsidized housing. This career field should see faster than average growth through 2018, with projected national job openings of 63,000. Kindergarten teachers can find employment in public elementary schools, private schools or specialized preschools. They may also consider self-employment by establishing their own preschool.

Elementary Education Degrees and Programs

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