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Pre-K Teacher Duties and Responsibilities

While a pre-K teacher’s day-to-day responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Work One-on-One with Children Although most of the school day is spent working with children in a group setting, pre-K teachers also work one-on-one with children, keeping them on task, implementing the curriculum, and assessing each child’s progress in social, language, and motor skills. They also tend to personal needs like removing coats and providing bathroom assistance.

Facilitate Group Activities Pre-K teachers supervise group activities that help children adapt and interact socially. Teachers promote fairness and group engagement through activities that encourage cooperation, such as art, music, and group games, and other forms of hands-on learning. They incorporate storytelling and rhyming games to teach vocabulary and language skills.

Teach Age-Appropriate Concepts Although the primary method of learning centers around play, pre-K is when children are introduced to concepts that are further explored in kindergarten, like literacy. Pre-K students learn about the alphabet, colors, shapes, numbers, and social skills.

Serve Snacks These teachers serve snacks and beverages to pre-K students in a way that incorporates learning and social skills.

Plan Curriculum and Schedules All teachers spend a portion of their workday planning curriculum and creating daily lesson plans. Pre-K teachers focus on areas like language skills, personal hygiene, motor skills, social skills, and child development. They also make sure daily routines include enough rest, physical exercise, and playtime.

Communicate with Parents Updating parents on their child’s progress is an important part of this job. These teachers refer to records and documents they keep of daily progress and behavior issues and are always on the lookout for signs of developmental or emotional problems.


Pre-K Teacher Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for pre-K teachers is $28,990 per year, or $13.94 per hour. Employment in this field is projected to grow 10 percent by 2026, which is faster than average for other occupations. This growth is expected because the importance of early childhood education is gaining momentum. Most full-time pre-K teachers enjoy benefits such as paid time off, retirement, and health insurance, depending on which sector they work for.


Helpful Resources

If a career as a pre-K teacher sounds exciting to you, you’re in luck! We searched the web for the best resources to get you on your way to becoming an early childhood educator:

PreSchoolTeacher.org – this all-in-one resource helps prospective pre-K teachers find education programs, get credentials, and locate jobs in their area. It details specific requirements for each state and offers tips on finding the right pre-K job for you

National Association for the Education of Young Children – NAEYC promotes quality early learning for young children, focusing on practice and policy in the early childhood education profession and offering support for those seeking work in the field

A Survival Guide for the Preschool Teacher – this step-by-step guide outlines how to become a successful preschool teacher and includes strategies for classroom management

Skills for Preschool Teachers – this classic reference provides research-based tips for teachers developing new skills and methods for the classroom environment