Before you look into how to become a kindergarten teacher, it’s important to understand why you should become a kindergarten teacher. A kindergarten teacher works with children ages four through six, encouraging the growth of their academic, physical, and social capabilities. 

This is a great career choice for those who are patient enough to work with young children, and who have a love for educating them. When exploring how to become a kindergarten teacher, know that you will have to complete a variety of elementary school teacher education requirements. 

Kindergarten Teacher Job Description

A typical kindergarten teacher job description consists of a variety of tasks. A kindergarten teacher is an early childhood educator who teaches children at the kindergarten level, the year before first grade. This is typically children around the age of five. 

In addition to the traditional subjects and teaching requirements, some kindergarten teachers may need to teach other subjects such as music or art. Below are more responsibilities that a kindergarten teacher can be expected to perform: 

  • Teaching kindergartners in a classroom at an elementary school – Unless you are teaching online, teaching kindergartners happens in person and at an elementary school.
  • Creating lesson plans – You should be able to create lesson plans that align with district and school objectives and standards. 
  • Administering tests – While tests may come in a different form, kindergartners should still be tested in some way that measures their performance. 
  • Teaching students in a variety of subjects such as mathematics, science, language, and more – You should be able to understand the basics of multiple subjects and be able to communicate lessons effectively to students. 
  • Using a variety of different mediums to teach students the fundamental skills they need – Not all students are the same, and providing them with different mediums can benefit students as they all may learn in different ways. 
  • Providing students with hands-on learning experiences – Hands-on learning experiences can be helpful for young children, as it is a fun and interactive way of learning. This kind of teaching can help them stay focused and approach learning in the classroom from a different angle. 

Steps to Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher

There are many routes  an individual can take when pursuing teaching. Requirements can change based on factors like location and grade level that an individual wants to teach. The below steps to becoming a kindergarten teacher can vary from state to state, but they should generally be the same. 

1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

One item that will likely be the same across all states is the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. It typically takes four years to get a bachelor’s degree and complete a program. When pursuing a bachelor’s degree, it is smart to earn a degree in early childhood education or a similar field. 

2. Complete a student teaching internship.

New requirements have been put in place for those pursuing the career path of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Future kindergarten teachers must complete a student teaching internship in a kindergarten classroom as part of a state-approved teacher preparation program. 

 3. Pass required tests for kindergarten teachers. 

Individuals will also need to pass required tests for kindergarten teachers. These will again vary by state, however, you will not receive your certification until you can pass the exams. 

4. Obtain a teaching license. 

After you have completed all requirements and passed all exams, you will need to obtain a teaching license. Private schools will typically not ask for educators to have licensure or certification, but all states require teacher candidates who want to pursue teaching in public schools to have a license or certificate. Additionally, it may be required for individuals to take classes in professional development to maintain licensure or certification.

Kindergarten Teacher Salary & Job Outlook

Kindergarten teacher salary and job outlook can vary by state, however, as of 2022 the average teacher kindergarten salary in the US was $59,287. The range for kindergarten teacher salaries can vary between $49,124 and $71,270. Additionally, overall employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is expected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031. Moreover, about 120,300 openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. It’s safe to say that the job outlook and hiring for teachers is not expected to drop anytime soon. 

Required Skills for Kindergarten Teachers

There are other required skills for kindergarten teachers that do not fall into the category of formal education, but rather, what kinds of skills a kindergarten teacher should possess. Below are three skills that would be ideal to have in a kindergarten teacher candidate: 

  • Communication – Having clear communication, and communicating in a way that is simple will allow you to engage with kindergartners in an easier manner.
  • Resourcefulness – Being able to quickly overcome challenges will allow you to stay flexible and run the classroom smoothly. 
  • Patience – Having patience is extremely important, especially when you are working with young children. Be sure to lead with patience, as young children may get easily distracted or not understand what you are teaching them right away. 

In conclusion, all prospective kindergarten teachers should love children and want to educate future generations. If this sounds like you, check out our certification options start  you teaching journey as soon as possible!