Preschool Teacher Qualifications
Every state has its own particular qualifications for preschool teachers, ranging from no more than a high school diploma to a four-year bachelors degree. Many states require preschool teachers to obtain a certification such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential administered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Qualifications for the CDA credential include a high school diploma, coursework, and experience in the field. Depending on where you want to work, you may need to pursue an associates or bachelors degree in early childhood education. Degree programs will include classes in teaching methods, childhood development, literacy, and classroom management. Preschool teachers in public schools must be licensed to teach early childhood education, preschool through third grade. Licensure qualifications vary, but typically include a bachelors degree and passing an exam. Many states also require teachers at childcare centers to be licensed.
A preschool teacher must truly enjoy interacting with children and be able to impart their knowledge and instill a love of learning in their young students. Patience is an important qualification for all preschool teachers, as every child will have different needs and learn at their own pace. Preschool teachers need to be able to effectively communicate with both children and parents. Creativity can be another valuable attribute for preschool teachers. You will need to plan interesting and innovative lesson plans to engage your students. It can also be very beneficial, and sometimes required, to have training in first aid and CPR.
Previous work experience in a childcare setting may be a required qualification for preschool teachers in some states. Many preschool teachers start out as childcare workers or teaching assistants.
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