Inside Kindergarten Teacher Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"When The Work Day Is Over Your Work Does Not End If You Are A Teacher...
I was surprised at how much work was involved with teaching. When I first started I thought that it would just be classroom work with the children and then I would leave my work at my job. However, there are seminars to attend and homework to grade and lesson plans to make and parent emails to answer. I was also surprised at how attached I have become to the children in my class and how much I will miss them when they move on." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Oklahoma, female
School: Studied Early Childhood Education at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"I was surprised to learn that there is little job security or stability in the field. Once a school year starts you know what to expect for that year, but you never know what will happen for the following year." (Teacher; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Education at Michigan State University in Michigan; completed Master degree in 2009

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Teacher: "The students are the best part of the job. They are excited to learn, happy to share their thoughts and ideas on most subjects, and are very inquisitive. They make me laugh and every day they teach me something new too. The worst part of my job is trying to teach children on days that are hazy, hot and humid. Even though we are all required to be at school I am not sure how much learning goes on when we all so uncomfortable. At their age (5 or 6) they do not understand that being still and quiet helps you stay cool. We all make the best of it, though." (2010)

Kindergarten Teacher: "The best part of the job is the satisfaction I get from seeing the glow in the children's eyes as they begin to learn new things, especially learning to read. I also love to hear the things children at this age come up with. The worst part of the job is the pay. Since this is not a public school, the salaries are very low, which makes life especially hard in the current economic situation." (2010)

Teacher: "The best part of the job is seeing a child "get it." It's fun being in front of a class and dramatizing something you are teaching. I use various voices and accents to add to the excitement. You must be an actor to keep kids' attention. I love it! Worst part of the job is the hours you spend planning and setting up your room. I leave everyday at 5 o'clock, not 3:30." (2010)

Kindergarten Teacher: "The best part of my job is having the opportunity to interact with five- and six-year olds on a daily basis who are eager to experience all that you have to share with them. Watching my Kindergartners successfully complete center activities or experience the joy of emerging literacy skills is also a rewarding experience for both of us. The worst part of my job is meeting the demands of formalized testing required by both the state and the district and shaping my curriculum to meet the learning needs of all students." (2010)

Career Background

Kindergarten Teacher

  Job Tasks
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  How to Prepare for the Job
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Career Video

Career Tips

"If You Want To Become A Teacher Volunteer In A Classroom First...
I would recommend anyone wanting to become a teacher to volunteer in a classroom of your chosen grade range and make sure that it is the right field for you before putting all of your time and money into your education because it is certainly not for everyone." (Teacher; 2013)

"Ask For Help...
Ask for help from your teammates, mentors and special education staff. We all have lessons that aren't great. Toss them out and try new ones. The custodian, secretary, cafeteria manager and technology specialist are extremely important and valuable. Be sure to treat them as professionals. They are also valuable resources whom you'll employ on a daily basis. Keep a sense of humor. Eat a snack when the children have one and don't forget to drink plenty of water. Make sure you call or write parents about good things as well as concerns." (Teacher; 2010)

"Rewarding But Lots Of Paperwork To Navigate...
Teaching is a very rewarding career. It will be a lot better money-wise to go to a public school system over a private school. However, there is a lot of paper work these days and a lot of petty things that will drive you crazy and a lot of teaching for tests. Teaching is not as fun as it use to be as you can't do a lot of fun things any more. But it is definitely still a very rewarding career." (Kindergarten Teacher; 2010)

1. Specialize in other areas such as speech, reading, etc. 2. In elementary education, you have to love children from ages 5 to 12. You can get bounced from kindergarten to 5th grade to 2nd grade, wherever there is a need in your school. 3. When student teaching, take the time to really plan your lessons. When you take over the class, you'll need to be prepared." (Teacher; 2010)

"Substitute And Observe...
Stay in college beyond your four years of undergraduate study and obtain your master's degree in either reading or guidance counseling. This will provide you with additional employment opportunities. Look for opportunities to substitute teach at a variety of grade levels. This will help you better determine grade preference and give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience by observing the teaching styles and classroom management of veteran teachers. Check educational websites often to gain a better understanding of current teaching practices, ideas and resource materials. This will help you remain current and knowledgeable about trends in your profession." (Kindergarten Teacher; 2010)