The kindergarten level of education basically refers to the pre-elementary educational phase sandwiched between preschool and elementary school. Students that fall into this stage of education are trained and instructed by kindergarten teachers. Kindergarten teachers are professionals responsible for the tutelage of pre-elementary students immediately after preschool education, and in readiness for primary/ elementary education. In most climes, kindergarten is for children between the ages of 5 to 6 years old. Kindergarten teachers help their students to get familiar with the rudimentary concepts of basic subjects like math and language development through the use of various techniques and activities designed to make learning as simplified as possible.
Kindergarten and elementary schools are very similar in form and function. The major distinguishing fact between both phases of education is in the length of the school day. While kindergarten students only school for half a day, their counterparts in Grade 1 of elementary school and above have full school day programs. These kindergarten teachers are fundamentally charged with the responsibility of formulating and delivering lesson plans, monitoring progress made and making evaluations based on the assessment of the kindergarten students’ performances.
Kindergarten Teacher Job Duties
- Establishes an enabling environment wherein the students can maximally benefit from the teaching-learning process.
- Prepares lesson plans from approved syllabuses and curricula. These plans are tailored to meet the unique requirements of the students.
- Liaises with parents/guardians in order to develop a more robust understanding of each student’s peculiarities.
- Oversees the relaxation and recreational activities of the students in addition to their academic interests. This is necessary to enhance optimum development.
- Enforces discipline and adherence to set rules and regulations amongst the students.
- Monitors, evaluates and keeps records of the students’ general performances.
- Determines the best approach and materials to be used in achieving the objectives dictated by the curricula for the students’ effective growth.
- Participates individually or in conjunction with other members of staff in administrative duties as authorized by the school management.
- Early childhood teacher
- Pre-elementary school teacher
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2016) predicts that employment of kindergarten teachers will grow at a rate 6% (2014 – 2024). The job outlook for kindergarten teachers is high due to the projected increase in enrollment of children of kindergarten age.
Kindergarten Teacher Skills and Qualifications
- Effective communication skills are important to be able to propagate information coherently for the purpose student development.
- Appreciable ability to breakdown complex subject matter into simplified forms. This demystification assists the students in comprehending the learning processes better.
- Shrewd ability to be observant and attentive to detail. This ability to be perceptive and responsive to the students’ needs is very crucial.
- Appreciable motivational and inspirational skills are essential to continually stimulate and positively influence the students’ overall performances.
- Substantial ingenuity, inventiveness, resourcefulness and creativity skills are important attributes a kindergarten teacher should possess in order to establish and sustain enthusiasm to learn in the students.
- Significant time management skills are also essential qualities a kindergarten teacher should possess. This is as a result of the fact that most children of kindergarten age require lots of attention. Thus, sound time management and dedicated organizational attributes help to promote productivity amongst the students.
- Possession of pertinent academic qualifications and licenses to certify that the kindergarten teacher has been duly inculcated in the necessary requirements and indoctrination of instructing the young students is vital.
- Children of kindergarten age can be a handful. For this reason, a kindergarten teacher must be capable of exhibiting exceptional patience and endurance.
Kindergarten teachers earn an annual average wage of $55,460 according to the Bureau Labor Statistics (May 2016).
Education and Training
These requirements vary across-the-board, but the least educational qualification a prospective kindergarten is generally expected to have is a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and/or elementary education. Acquisition of further qualifications is also proposed in contemporary times. The potential kindergarten teacher is also required to sit for, and pass state-approved teacher-training tests. Teaching certificates/ licenses are thereafter issued to successful candidates. Finally, membership of professional organizations is always advocated.