Early Childhood Education Careers Washington DC
Early Childhood Education Careers
Teachers specialized in early childhood education teach preschool through 3rd grade. They might work at infant or child care centers, preschools, elementary schools, or schools that are K–8. Their jobs are of paramount importance because in the time between 3 and 8 years of age, children are in a state of constant development. A lot of significant things are happening! They’re changing physically, of course, but they’re also learning to socialize, developing intellectually, gaining self-awareness, exploring their creativity, building self-confidence, and much, much more. How you teach, nurture, discipline, and praise your youngsters will actually help shape their personalities.
These teachers build and fortify children’s academic backbones by introducing them to concepts such as math, language, science, and even social studies. Because preschool-aged children learn primarily through playing and interacting, teachers use games, storytelling, and rhyming to develop preschoolers’ vocabularies. Social skills are nurtured through group activities or free play. Some activities, like using safety scissors and hula hooping, develop and improve fine and gross motor skills. Beginning with kindergarten, schooling takes a more academic turn and students are taught to read, add, subtract, spell, and write. By the end of third grade, students will be reading to learn. Already well versed at writing letters and words, they’ll start to use writing to tell stories or otherwise communicate. They’ll know basic arithmetic, like how to add and subtract numbers 0–12 and they’ll be familiar with some rudimentary geometry — that’s a lot of change in just a few years!
Your requirements to teach will have a lot to do with where you want to teach. To teach in public schools, you will need a bachelor’s degree and to be licensed by the state in which you want to work. Teaching in private school generally doesn’t require any licensure, but it is common to need a bachelor’s degree. The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the most common type of certification you’ll need.; it’s the entry-level credential for anyone who wants to specialize in early childhood education, and it requires you to complete 120 hours of classroom training, get experience working with children, and to demonstrate competence in 17 areas. To get your state license, you’ll sit the Praxis exam series or another state-issued assessment and be tested for basic skills, like reading and writing, and your ability to teach.
Before committing to a career, it’s a great idea to check out industry trends to make sure the market is healthy and demand is strengthening. Good news: Between 2006 and 2016, the number of preschool teachers is expected to rise 26 percent! Expect growth in other age brackets as well —kindergarten teachers are slated to grow by 16 percent, and elementary school teachers should increase by 14 percent.
In addition to the academic and state requirements, it’s important to remember that great teachers have certain personality traits in common. Ask yourself these questions: First and most obviously, do you love children? Can you communicate difficult concepts to kids in ways that they could easily understand? Can you spot children’s talents and nurture them? Do you possess the patience to deal with misbehaved or inattentive children? Do you critique kindly and praise fairly? Could you be diplomatic toward pushy parents or parents who criticize you for giving their child a bad grade?
If you found yourself answering “Yes” to many or most of those questions, your personality might be a great fit for a career in early childhood education where you’ll boost youngsters’ brainpower and shape them into well-rounded students!
· 11-9031.00 - Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program
· 25-2011.00 - Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
· 39-9011.00 - Child Care Workers
· 25-2031.00 - Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
· 11-9033.00 - Education Administrators, Postsecondary
· 25-2012.00 - Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
· 25-2021.00 - Elementary Teachers, Except Special Education
Andria Lopez, eLearners.com
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