How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher

All teachers have important jobs when molding young minds, but the kindergarten teacher is the very first teacher a young child will face when entering school.

Therefore it takes an extra special person to become a teacher to teach the youngest of minds, getting them ready for 1st grade and beyond. You will need a college education – a Bachelors Degree in Education at a minimum and in many cases a Masters in Education Degree – along with a wealth of patience and creativity.

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What Do Kindergarten Teachers Do?
Kindergarten teachers help teach students individually and in group settings, teach basic skills that are integral to living (color / shape / number / letter recognition, personal hygiene, social, behavior skills), and start laying the groundwork for following rules, policies, and procedures. Below are some of the top skills found among kindergarten teachers.


Steps to Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher

1. Determine your passion for working with young children

It is a good idea to “test the waters” to figure out if you are truly passionate about teaching young children. It takes a special person to teach kindergarten. Many people volunteer as a substitute, or as part-time help with a kindergarten class or preschool. It is also helpful to know what makes a great kindergarten teacher.


2. Earn your Bachelors Degree in Education

Nearly every lead kindergarten teacher has a Bachelors Degree in Education at a minimum, and many have their master’s in education with a specialty in early childhood education. You can search for bachelor’s programs here, or find master’s in education degrees on this page. View the featured programs below or scroll down to find early childhood education programs.


3. Get real-life teaching experience

After your undergraduate studies, it is a good idea to get into the field. Some bachelor’s programs require an internship of some sort.


4. Take the Praxis and earn your teaching certification

The Praxis I, or Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), consists of three exams in reading, writing, and mathematics, and for most graduate level programs you need to have passed it in order to earn your teacher certification. The Praxis II tests are for more specific subcategories of teaching (counseling, or special needs education).


5. Find a job – OR – Earn a M.Ed

a.) Find a job as a kindergarten teacher.
Use your college’s career center to help find open teaching positions. You can also check with your local schools and utilize networks such as LinkedIn to build a network and find a job.

b.) Pursue a graduate-level teaching degree.
Rather than attempting to jump in to the field of teaching, most people decide to get their Master’s in Early Childhood Education. This provides another level of education and is another great checkpoint to add to your resume. Click here to view accredited early childhood education programs that you can get in contact with right now.


FAQ on Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher

What type of degree do I need to become a kindergarten teacher?

To teach kindergarten children, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and you’ll need to get certified after graduation. To become a certified teacher, you’ll need to pass a series of tests. Some states require that teachers of kindergartners hold a master’s degree. Your college degree should focus on Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education as a major. And, generally, a student teaching internship is required before entering the field. You’ll want to gain plenty of experience working with children as well.

What special skills should I have when teaching kindergarten children?

Required key skills of kindergarten teachers include an abundance of patience, excellent communication skills, and plenty of creativity. If you have a passion and desire to work with young minds, you more than likely already have these skills.


Most Important Skills for Kindergarten Teachers

Patience
Teaching 5-year-old can be difficult, and patience is essential.
Communication
The ability to communicate clearly and concisely is imperative.
Creativity
Developing new and fun exercises to help students learn in different ways.

While in school, or after graduation, you’ll want to do things with your time that will give you the experience that you’ll need to successfully engage kindergarten kids in learning. The kind of experience that will help you later on includes volunteering your time as a teacher’s assistant at any daycare or school, as well as becoming a substitute teacher. If you’re lucky enough to substitute for kindergartners, this experience is even better yet.