What Does A Kindergarten Teacher Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Kindergarten Teachers

Kindergarten Teachers teach academic and social skills to kindergarten students.

Salary
$61170
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Kindergarten Teachers teach academic and social skills to kindergarten students.

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
  • Prepare children for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Instruct students individually and in groups, adapting teaching methods to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
  • Teach basic skills, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Kindergarten Teachers assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting activities of interest to them. They prepare materials, classrooms, and other indoor and outdoor spaces to facilitate creative play, learning and motor-skill activities, and safety.

A typical day for a Kindergarten Teacher will also include:

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
  • Demonstrate activities to children.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Kindergarten Teachers also attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required. They may also attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Kindergarten Teachers confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula. They might also meet with other professionals to discuss individual students’ needs and progress.

In addition, they prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate children’s progress.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students’ behavioral and academic problems.

To some Kindergarten Teachers, it is also their responsibility to plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guests, or other experiential activities and guide students in learning from those activities.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

81% said they were satisfied with their job and 91% said they found their job meaningful.


Kate Fraiser
Clark County School District

For 13 years, I was a Kindergarten Teacher with Clark County School District.

When I was a Kindergarten teacher, my typical day was full of making connections with students. Unfortunately, the tasks that ended up taking up most of my time were testing and paperwork – which is why I eventually left the classroom.

My typical day as a Kindergarten Teacher started at about 7 am when I got to my classroom. The kids got there just after 8:30 and I liked to get in there early to not feel rushed – especially if we had staff meetings! This time would be spent looking over the day’s lesson plans to make sure all the materials needed would be prepped and ready to go. When you teach little ones, ANY “waiting” time is a recipe for disaster so you want to make sure you have all that you need at the ready.

When the kids arrived, we had a greeting ritual which included what I call “Bring your B.E.S.T.” (Breath, use Eye contact, Smile, and Touch). So every child (and parent) would be greeted with my B.E.S.T. to increase our relational connections and therefore cooperation in the classroom. Sometimes a student had the job of “B.E.S.T. Greeter” and he or she would greet everyone entering the room. EVERY student had a job. So, 25 students = 25 jobs. Students entered the classroom in the morning and tackled their “jobs” right away before coming to the carpet for Morning Meeting. Some other classroom jobs included “Mail Carrier” to distribute papers to everyone’s cubbies; “Chair Checker” to make sure walking paths were safe; “Librarian” to check books were in good condition; “Pencil Sharpener” – you get the idea!

Morning Meeting was another time of connection – we’d share news of things happening at home (exciting or scary!) – we’d sing songs and dance to get our bodies and minds awake and ready to learn – and then we’d sit and hear the daily plan. Unless there were assemblies or a special class, our days ran in the same order to soothe our brain’s need for a consistent pattern. We’d read a big book or poem together, then break up into small groups doing a variety of reading and writing activities based on individual children’s levels, needs, strengths, and interests. THIS was the time when it was most helpful to have a classroom assistant or parent helper!

After the Reading/Writing time, we’d typically come back together for another Meeting which involved talking about how children felt about the past activities, sharing projects, discussing aspects of the story deeper, and what we’d be learning next. Then, we’d move on to Math and follow pretty much the same pattern: Whole group teaching, then small individualized groups to reteach or strengthen the concepts taught, then back to whole group time to reflect upon what was learned. I integrated Science and Social Studies into our “Reading/Writing” time because that made the most sense when teaching five year olds!

As far as my key responsibilities go, my number one job was to keep these children SAFE – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and socially. That’s why we did so much relational connecting! I did sometimes have playground or bus duty but I always saw that as another opportunity to connect with children! And, ALL of my day was a “pro” until the school district started requiring ridiculous amounts of “data” on each child in the form of standardized paper-pencil tests. It was not developmentally appropriate and cut into the time we were able to connect. I ended up feeling pressured and stressed about the requirements and since administrators generally didn’t see the social and emotional benefit of including the connecting activities (they were under their own set of stressors, I’m sure), I was forced to have kids sitting isolated at desks longer. It was awful and I eventually left to work where I had more freedom to teach children in the way that was best for them – not for district data!

Pros

The pros of teaching were making connections with students and families, helping them grow and learn as well as learning and growing from my relationships with them.

Cons

The cons of it were the mounds of unnecessary paperwork and (required) non-developmentally appropriate activities (i.e. written testing for a four year old, or rote memorization without context).

Kate Fraiser
Clark County School District
Connect Point Moms


Pros

Suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Good salary (earns more than 50% of the careers out there).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$61170 per year

Average hourly wage

$* per hour

Entry-level Kindergarten Teachers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $37,360 to $46,280 per year or $* to $* per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $91,980 $*
Senior (Top 25%) $72,440 $*
Median $57,860 $*
Junior (Bottom 25%) $46,280 $*
No experience (Bottom 10%) $37,360 $*

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Kindergarten Teachers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Local Government $61960 $*
Elementary and Secondary Schools $61630 $*
Religious Organizations $59700 $*
Educational Support Services $57110 $*
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $45850 $*
Other Schools and Instruction $45490 $*
Individual and Family Services $40350 $*
Child Day Care Services $39320 $*
Social Advocacy Organizations $37350 $*

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Kindergarten Teachers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Kindergarten Teachers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Elementary and Secondary Schools 116680 $61630 $*
Child Day Care Services 2220 $39320 $*
Religious Organizations 210 $59700 $*
Other Schools and Instruction 100 $45490 $*
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 60 $45850 $*
Individual and Family Services 60 $40350 $*
Local Government 40 $61960 $*
Educational Support Services 40 $57110 $*
Social Advocacy Organizations 30 $37350 $*

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
6%

40 hours
25%

More than 40 hours
69%

Working schedule

96%

4%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
3%

Every day
93%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
46%

Every day
23%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
14%

Every day
72%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
6%

Once a year
20%

Once a month
14%

Once a week
5%

Every day
54%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
19%

Slightly competitive
20%

Moderately competitive
41%

Highly competitive
7%

Extremely competitive
12%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
17%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
4%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
78%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
64%

Once a year or more
12%

Once a month or more
4%

Once a week or more
2%

Every day
18%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
53%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
12%

Once a week or more
15%

Every day
20%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
68%

Once a year or more
4%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
12%

Every day
14%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
76%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
11%

Master’s Degree
14%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Teaching French as a Second or Foreign Language

A program that focuses on the principles and practice of teaching French to students who are not proficient in French or who do not speak, read, or write French, and prepares individuals to serve as teachers and administrators.

Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor

A program that focuses on the principles and practice of teaching English to students who are not proficient in English or who do not speak, read or write English, and that may prepare individuals to function as teachers and administrators in such programs.


International Teaching and Learning

A program that prepares individuals to teach in schools that are implementing or proposing to implement the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Includes instruction in culturally-responsive classrooms, cross-cultural awareness, foundations of international education, human learning, human development, international teaching and learning, and pedagogy.

Early Childhood Education and Teaching

A program that prepares individuals to teach students ranging in age from infancy through eight years (grade three), depending on the school system or state regulations. Includes preparation to teach all relevant subject matter.

Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching

A program that prepares individuals to teach students in formal settings prior to beginning regular elementary school, usually ranging in age from three to six years (or grade one), depending on the school system or state regulations. Includes preparation to teach all relevant subject matter.


Waldorf/Steiner Teacher Education

A program that prepares individuals to teach students at various grade levels according to the pedagogical principles and methods developed by Rudolf Steiner and his followers.

Montessori Teacher Education

A program that prepares individuals to teach students at various grade levels according to the pedagogical principles and methods developed by Maria Montessori and her followers.

Teacher Education, Multiple Levels

A program that prepares individuals to teach students at more than one educational level, such as a combined program in elementary/secondary, early childhood/elementary, elementary/middle school, or junior high/high school teacher education.


Bilingual and Multilingual Education

A program that focuses on the design and provision of teaching and other educational services to bilingual/bicultural children or adults, and/or the design and implementation of educational programs having the goal of producing bilingual/bicultural individuals. Includes preparation to serve as teachers and administrators in bilingual/bicultural education programs.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
32%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
14%

6 months to 1 year
29%

1 to 2 years
12%

2 to 4 years
2%

4 to 6 years
4%

6 to 8 years
2%

8 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
20%

1 month
14%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
14%

6 months to 1 year
34%

1 to 2 years
14%

2 to 4 years
3%

4 to 10 years
2%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Helper

People with this personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.

The Builder
24%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
33%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
67%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
100%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
48%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
38%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
76%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
71%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
62%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
95%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
52%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
71%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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