Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.
Sample of reported job titles: Child Development Teacher, Early Childhood Teacher, Group Teacher, Infant Teacher, Montessori Preschool Teacher, Nursery Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Pre-K Teacher), Preschool Teacher, Teacher, Toddler Teacher
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Teach basic skills, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills.
- 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.
- Organize and lead activities designed to promote physical, mental, and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, and field trips.
- Identify children showing signs of emotional, developmental, or health-related problems and discuss them with supervisors, parents or guardians, and child development specialists.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting activities of interest to them.
- Observe and evaluate children’s performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
- Read books to entire classes or to small groups.
- Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to children.
- Arrange indoor and outdoor space to facilitate creative play, motor-skill activities, and safety.
- Teach proper eating habits and personal hygiene.
- Demonstrate activities to children.
- Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
- Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
- Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
- Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
- Organize and label materials and display students’ work in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills.
- Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
- Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of preschool programs.
- Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guests, or other experiential activities and guide students in learning from those activities.
- Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students’ needs and progress.
- Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
- Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
- Administer tests to help determine children’s developmental levels, needs, and potential.
- Attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required.
- Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
- Perform administrative duties, such as hall and cafeteria monitoring and bus loading and unloading.
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- Computer based training software — Common Curriculum; EasyCBM; Padlet; Schoology (see all 6 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Desktop communications software — Bloomz; ClassDojo; Edmodo; Tadpoles
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Mobile messaging service software — Intrado SchoolMessenger
- Multi-media educational software — Nearpod; Seesaw
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Project management software — Google Classroom
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Google Meet
- Video creation and editing software — Flipgrid
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
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- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Teach life skills.
- Provide for basic needs of children.
- Set up classroom materials or equipment.
- Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
- Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
- Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
- Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
- Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
- Plan educational activities.
- Evaluate student work.
- Maintain student records.
- Monitor student performance.
- Read to students.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Apply multiple teaching methods.
- Arrange childcare or educational settings to ensure physical safety of children.
- Enforce rules or policies governing student behavior.
- Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
- Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Assist students with special educational needs.
- Display student work.
- Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
- Plan experiential learning activities.
- Supervise school or student activities.
- Distribute instructional or library materials.
- Evaluate performance of educational staff.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
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- Contact With Others — 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 35% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Standing — 48% responded “More than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Important.”
- Letters and Memos — 29% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 36% responded “Never.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 34% responded “More than half the time.”
- Consequence of Error — 28% responded “Not serious at all.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 31% responded “About half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 32% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 38% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 37% responded “More than half the time.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|29||High school diploma or equivalent
|12||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: SA Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
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- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$15.35 hourly, $31,930 annual|
|Employment (2020)||469,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||59,600|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Montessori Society
- Association for Childhood Education International
- Association Montessori Internationale
- Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators
- National Association of Independent Schools
- National Education Association
- National Head Start Association
- North American Montessori Teachers’ Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Preschool teachers
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