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

Stan T.Career, Overview

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

Preschool Teachers

Preschool Teachers instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.

Salary
$36550
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





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

What they do

Preschool Teachers instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
  • Serve meals and snacks in accordance with nutritional guidelines.
  • Attend to children’s basic needs by feeding them, dressing them, and changing their diapers.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children’s progress and needs, determine their priorities for their children, and suggest ways that they can promote learning and development.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Preschool Teachers plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate. They enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.

A typical day for a Preschool Teacher will also include:

  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Serve meals and snacks in accordance with nutritional guidelines.
  • Assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting activities of interest to them.
  • Read books to entire classes or to small groups.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Preschool Teachers also attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required. They may also select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Preschool Teachers collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of preschool programs. They might also attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.

In addition, they prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them meet with other professionals to discuss individual students’ needs and progress.

To some Preschool Teachers, it is also their responsibility to confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
7%

Very little freedom
14%

Limited freedom
20%

Some freedom
35%

A lot of freedom
24%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
7%

Very little freedom
14%

Limited freedom
15%

Some freedom
39%

A lot of freedom
25%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Very High

61% said they were satisfied with their job and 73% said they found their job meaningful.


Kayleigh MacLean
Tiny Hoppers

In any childcare program, an educator has a schedule and a program that they need to adhere to. However, anyone who has worked in childcare knows that really, it’s more of a child-led environment. One has to be able to go with the flow, as much as they’re able to keep order.

We start the mornings with a healthy snack, followed by a teacher-directed art or sensory activity. Then we try to play outside as much as we can!

Back inside for lunch and nap, then wake-up time and another snack.

We end the day outside as parents come to pick their children up.

And in between all of that, there’s crying and tantrums and laughing and tickles and bo-bo’s and “No Thank You”’s and “Yes Please”es. There are diaper changes and teething rings, there’s programming and sanitizing and cleaning and caring… There are a million and one things to do in a day, but with the right team and a positive attitude, as well as a fierce desire to love and care for these babies, the days go by in a flash 😉

Cons

As with any job, there are pros and cons to working in childcare. Often the cons are having to overextend oneself in order to provide a full and enriching program for the children. Any teacher can admit that they take their work home with them sometimes. Having to program after work hours because there is just never enough time in a day. But that comes with the territory. That comes with being a caring and dedicated educator. Someone who loves their job despite the difficulties.

Pros

And the pros are so rewarding. Having a child connect with you. Trust you. Look to you for solace when they are feeling lost and overwhelmed in a strange new environment. It warms your heart. Helping to teach these little beings how to function in the world, and watching them grow and flourish, it’s a feeling that can barely be described. I’ve heard countless times that it takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. And it’s true, it does.

Kayleigh MacLean
Tiny Hoppers


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.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to follow routines.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$36550 per year

Average hourly wage

$18 per hour

Entry-level Preschool Teachers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $21,900 to $26,220 per year or $11 to $13 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $28 $58,230
Senior (Top 25%) $20 $42,350
Middle (Mid 50%) $15 $31,930
Junior (Bottom 25%) $13 $26,220
No experience (Bottom 10%) $11 $21,900

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
52%

40 hours
33%

More than 40 hours
15%

Working schedule

100%

0%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
7%

Important
8%

Very important
25%

Extremely important
60%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
35%

Fairly important
0%

Important
6%

Very important
23%

Extremely important
36%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
7%

Fairly important
5%

Important
24%

Very important
26%

Extremely important
38%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
16%

Every day
12%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
21%

Every day
7%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
1%

Every day
72%

Public speaking

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

Never
41%

Once a year
24%

Once a month
1%

Once a week
9%

Every day
25%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
7%

Once a year
33%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
7%

Every day
42%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
14%

Once a year
29%

Once a month
13%

Once a week
15%

Every day
30%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
63%

Once a year
10%

Once a month
7%

Once a week
6%

Every day
14%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
34%

Slightly competitive
18%

Moderately competitive
19%

Highly competitive
21%

Extremely competitive
7%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
57%

Fairly important
19%

Important
7%

Very Important
0%

Extremely Important
17%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
15%

Minor impact
7%

Moderate impact
13%

Important impact
30%

Very important impact
35%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
28%

Once a year
7%

Once a month
2%

Once a week
8%

Every day
55%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
17%

Limited responsibility
38%

Moderate responsibility
7%

High responsibility
2%

Very high responsibility
36%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
21%

Limited responsibility
32%

Moderate responsibility
23%

High responsibility
3%

Very high responsibility
21%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
15%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
83%

Warehouse-style environment

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

Never
78%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
5%

Once a week or more
2%

Every day
5%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
36%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
32%

Every day
28%

Outdoors – Under Cover

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

Never
77%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
9%

Every day
14%

How to become one

Preschool Teachers typically need at least a Bachelor’s Degree but some Head Start programs may only require an Associate’s Degree. Almost all preschools require Preschool Teachers to have a degree or certification in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Some states require Preschool Teachers to obtain certificates in teaching, CPR, and first aid.

Learn more about how to become a Preschool Teacher.

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

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
29%

Post-Secondary Certificate
10%

Some College Courses
12%

Associate’s Degree or similar
12%

Bachelor’s Degree
17%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
8%

Master’s Degree
12%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

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

None
16%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
18%

6 months to 1 year
17%

1 to 2 years
33%

2 to 4 years
14%

4 to 6 years
3%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

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
30%

1 month
35%

1 to 3 months
8%

3 to 6 months
15%

6 months to 1 year
4%

1 to 2 years
8%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality 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.

29%

38%

81%

100%

48%

29%

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.

FAQ


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