Thinking about how to become a kindergarten teacher?
Some districts have junior and senior kindergartens, some are full day, some half day. Children may be between 3 – 7 years old depending on what geographic area you live in. In public schools, teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in education and teacher certification for the state/province in which they work.
Teachers are required to take a variety of courses, pass exams and complete student teaching each year for four or five years. Practicing these four essential skills will get you closer to your goal.
1. Learn how to write
Every teaching job involves a lot of writing. Use spell check and a dictionary with all that you publish. Being able to correctly write notices to parents, signs in the classroom, and report cards is a vital skill to learn when becoming a kindergarten teacher.
If your English skills are weak, get extra help to improve them. During a parent-teacher night in my first year of teaching, I wrote a large sign on the board with the word congratulations spelled incorrectly. A parent kindly fixed my error before everyone arrived.
Mistakes happen! I found spelling and typo mistakes on this page two times before I got it right (hopefully)! I recommend William Strunk’s The Elements of Style as a must read to help improve your writing skills.
2. Learn to Communicate
Take courses or workshops on communication. Teachers need excellent listening and communication skills to work with parents, children, and other staff members. Learning how to talk to others in a manner that builds bridges rather than walls is a valuable quality to acquire.
3. Learn to be Organized
In the process of becoming a kindergarten teacher, learn as much as you can about being organized. Every system you put in place will save you hours of work in the future. Although it takes a lot of work, to begin with, plan your themes and activities in advance. This way you will have plenty of time to order resources, borrow books and DVDs, and organize field trips and classroom visitors for each theme you teach.
Develop easy to maintain storage systems for everything! This will make it easier for you and your students to clean up and put things away. take advantage of products that keep classroom management easy. Purge regularly as clutter adds to your workload and too many stimuli can confuse students.
Teach children where to put things early in the year and you will have fewer problems with lost items and cleanup chaos. Integrate teaching skills such as classification, during clean up times. Learn more at teacher tips on “Teaching with math manipulatives“.
A buying tip – if you are purchasing any kind of tub or storage bin, buy the ones with straight sides rather than slanted. They hold more items yet take up the same amount of space.
4. Be a Problem Solver
If something can go wrong it will! Plan to be a creative problem solver. I learned early in my teaching career that every well-planned lesson could be easily disrupted. You either get frustrated or go into a creative problem-solving mode. Check out this post on developing a problem-solving approach.http://www.kindergarten-lessons.com/how-to-become-a-kindergarten-teacher/
- Define the problem, and then ask…
- How can I make this work?
- In what ways can I solve this problem?
- What can I do differently?
- Do I need to ask for help or advice?
- Avoid blaming at all times, just focus on solving the problem.