While deciding which career to pursue, students should consider why a particular career or program of study interests them. When it comes to teaching, this is especially important.
Prospective teachers might think that the most important part of becoming a teacher is the ability to enjoy spending copious amounts of time with children. While that is definitely a large aspect of the job description, there are a few other important commitments that teachers must adopt along with the job. Understanding these duties can assist students as they are choosing their career. When deciding to become a preschool teacher, here are some things students must know:
- Choose the Appropriate Training and Education
One of the most important steps for potential preschool teachers is to find a program of study: one that offers hands on training, while providing students with the skills to succeed in their career.
Florida National University (FNU) offers a two-year Education program, which can help prepare students for careers teaching preschool. Graduates of this program will stand out among applicants who have not acquired this degree, and they will gain hands-on teaching experience.
- Technically, You Never Clock Out
Once the school bell rings, all of the students file out to meet their respective parents. In every direction, tired little faces pile into vans and head home to relax after a long school day. Although one might assume that teachers do the same, the truth is that most teachers stay after school doing numerous things. While most other jobs have a designated clock out time, this career carries well past the 3:00 PM ring of school bell, for various reasons. From parent-teacher conferences and staff meetings, to grading and planning, educators are highly committed to their jobs.
Aside from the time commitment, there is also a large emotional commitment that educators often face. Being a teacher necessitates that one’s social skills be turned on Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Interpersonal and leadership skills in the classroom are necessary, even when a teacher is facing a few bumps in the road.
- The Basics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Preschool Teachers can expect an annual salary of around $31,420. The projected job growth is 17% until 2022. More parents of children under the age of five are being encouraged to enroll their children in preschool programs, thus increasing job demand.
- The Challenges
Frequently, teachers face challenges in and out of the classroom. The unfortunate truth is that the root of much frustration comes from the students’ parents. This phenomenon is so commonplace today that even Scholastic is offering tips to help build parent-teacher relationships. Keep in mind that people will always have opinions they want to voice, but it is a teacher’s job to stay professional and deal with a parent in the appropriate manner. Perhaps they have a valid point. When a parent disagrees with your teaching style, it might be best to bring this issue to a higher authority in order to come to a consensus — off to the principal’s office!
On the other hand, another disheartening moment that teachers might experience is dealing with a parent who does not seem to care much for their child’s education. Calling meetings these parents can be difficult; they may make promises to improve certain routines to benefit their child, and they might still fall through. Even setting up the meeting itself might prove impossible when a parent refuses to make time. As a teacher, it is crucial to be aware of all students’ behaviors and observe that they are being treated properly by all of the adults in their lives!
- Preparation is Key
A great teacher is prepared for anything. As we all know, children are messy and often quite clumsy, which can render some unfortunate messes in the classroom. Although the school likely has a custodian, keeping the classroom stocked with paper towels and cleaning supplies is helpful.
When it comes to being prepared, that includes school supplies, too! Teachers should keep their room stocked with extra pencils, crayons, and glue for students who forgot them!
Students in FNU’s program will harness a collection of valuable skills, including learning how to be prepared for a number of scenarios.
A quick look at the core requirements shows our commitment to helping students prepare. For example, students are required to take:
- EDF 1005 Introduction to Education
- EDF 1030 Classroom Management
- EDF 2085 Teaching Diverse Populations
- CGS 1013 Technology in Education
This collection of courses nearly speaks for itself—students will understand more about managing their classroom full of little learners, how to successfully incorporate lessons that students of different backgrounds will understand, and how to stay on top of the latest teaching technology.
There are so many other things that a new teacher will find themselves dealing with that may seem “out of the norm” but as an educator gains experience in the field they will realize that the classroom environment can be a curious yet rewarding one.
- Learning Never Ends
As a prospective educator, it is important to continue learning when possible. That is why we offer a Continuing Education and Professional Development program online. This program is specifically designed to help current and prospective educators evolve and progress their knowledge, enabling them the ability to stay up to date in their career.
Florida National University: The Right Start
If you are interested in jumpstarting your career and becoming part of the FNU family, then don’t wait. If you are not considering a path in education, review a list of our other programs and apply today!
“Preschool Teacher: How to Become a Preschool Teacher.” Education Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
“Preschool Teachers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.