If you enjoy working with children, playing games, singing, and being creative, being a preschool teacher may be a career worth exploring.
Preschool teachers work with children ages 3 through 5.
This can happen in a variety of settings, including public or private schools, churches, Head Start, daycare, or community-based centers.
Teachers of young children specialize in helping them reach developmental milestones, socialization, and physical skills.
They lay the foundation for a successful elementary educational experience.
Therefore, people entering this profession need specific skills like patience and the ability to communicate properly, not only with children but with colleagues and parents.
Preschool teachers should also be creative, easy-going, fun, and well-organized.
Most preschool teachers need a bachelor’s degree, but depending on the facility, they may only be required to have an associate degree or a CDA (childhood development associate) credential.
The average preschool teacher in the United States makes $38,150 per year.
It’s projected that by 2031 the need for preschool teachers will increase by 15%.
If you think you might be interested in becoming a preschool teacher, read on for a list of the pros and cons.
Table of Contents
- 14 Pros and Cons of Being a Preschool Teacher – Summary Table
- Should You Become A Preschool Teacher?
1. Personally Rewarding
There’s no doubt that one of the best parts of being a preschool teacher is the opportunity to help little ones learn.
Sparking the flame of curiosity and creation in young minds can be one of the best feelings in the world.
Going to a job you love each day is truly a gift.
Helping children prepare for their future, make friends, and develop their skills, can give you a true sense of pride in what you do.
2. Chance To Be Creative And Have Fun
If you are creative and love to have fun, being a preschool teacher can serve as a great outlet for both.
Who wouldn’t want to go to work and be able to sing, dance, and spend time on the playground each day?
Even when you’re working on the more professional aspects like lesson planning, you can still let the creativity flow into planning fun, interesting, and educational activities that the kids (and you) will love.
You can also let your imagination lead the way when decorating your classroom, planning performances, and field trips.
3. Interact With Children In A Positive Way
If you find spending time with children fun and enriching, there’s few better career paths than being a preschool teacher.
The kiddos are bound to keep you entertained throughout the day, and make it interesting.
There’s never a dull moment with a class full of 4-year-olds.
Together you can paint, sing, read, and learn the day away.
If you’re doing something that is fun and engaging, it really doesn’t even seem like work.
The kids are bound to put a smile on your face and give you plenty to talk about when you get home.
4. Flexible Hours and Schedule
Many preschools give the option of working full or part-time hours, as most have half and full day programs.
You may also be able to choose which days you work.
This is great for people that have families, are going to school, or have other obligations.
Some preschools have before and after-school programs as well, which is great if you want extra hours, or even need care for your own children.
5. Bring Your Own Child
One of the big perks of working as a preschool teacher is that most places will allow you to bring your own child.
Some offer a discount, while others will let your child attend free of charge.
This takes a lot of stress and financial pressure off of you and your family, as childcare can be expensive and difficult to find.
It also allows you to spend more time with your child and know exactly how they are spending their time.
In the long run, both you and your child will be happier, and you’ll save some money.
Not to mention cutting down on the ever-hectic morning preparation and commuting to drop off your own child.
6. Build Relationships
Working as a preschool teacher gives you the opportunity to forge meaningful connections and relationships not only with the children, but with co-workers, parents, and community members as well.
Teachers are not only classroom figures, but they are often revered as prominent figures within the community as well.
This is helpful, not only on a personal level, for making friends, but also for forging professional connections.
7. Free Training And Education
Working at a preschool gives teachers the chance to take part in on-going training and professional development.
Though some of it is required, often teachers are given days throughout the year where they can choose to take workshops to enhance their existing skills and learn new ones.
Depending on what type of school you work at, they may even pay your tuition to continue your education.
1. Physically Demanding
While working at a preschool can be fun and rewarding, it can also be physically demanding.
There’s often little time to sit (at least in a chair).
You’ll be running around from child to child, activity to activity, lifting and carrying children and equipment, bending, sitting on the floor, and chasing little ones around play areas.
It takes a lot of physical energy and stamina. If being on the go all day is not your thing, being a preschool teacher may not be for you.
2. Low Pay
They say money isn’t everything, and that’s a good adage to live by if you’re a preschool teacher.
While the pay is not awful, you won’t get rich doing it.
Some preschool teachers work a lot of overtime, or even a second job to be able to buy the things they want.
Even though being a preschool teacher can be really fun and fulfilling, it’s not without its stressful moments.
Being in charge of a group of young children involves a lot of responsibility.
You must maintain rigorous safety protocols at all times, as well as keep track of food allergies and individual needs.
Teachers must also follow curriculum standards, be able to work with many types of personalities, and sometimes outside pressures to teach, or not teach certain topics.
4. Dealing With Difficult Behaviors
Now, this is where having patience comes in handy.
Kids will be kids, especially younger ones.
They are still developing social and emotional skills.
Many find it hard to react properly when tired, hungry, or upset.
This often leads to crying, whining, crankiness, and even tantrums and meltdowns.
As a preschool teacher, your job is to remain calm and help the child get past whatever is bothering them.
You’ll need to find ways to channel the negative into the positive, all while looking cool as a cucumber while doing it.
5. Picky Parents
Sadly, even in preschool, you will occasionally come across parents that think their child is the only child in the world.
They may expect more than what the school can provide, expect special treatment for their child, or just generally be unpleasant to deal with.
You will have to, again, practice patience, put a smile on your face, and do what you can to accommodate the parents.
You’ll also have to remember to separate the parents’ behavior from their child’s.
Remember that it’s not the child’s fault if the parents are behaving badly.
6. Lack Of Money/Support
It’s certainly not everywhere, but some preschool teachers complain that there is not enough overall support for their programs.
Funding is often short, or gets cut from overstrained budgets.
That leads to no raises for teachers, lack of supplies, and less opportunity for students to be enriched by outside activities.
7. Germs/Messy Situations
To be a truly effective preschool teacher, means you must not fear germs or mess.
Small children often get sick, it’s just part of growing up.
As an adult, you’ll have to take the proper precautions to protect yourself.
You also cannot be easily grossed out by runny noses, sneezing and coughing.
Chances are you’ll have a few times where you’ll have to clean up bodily fluids as well.
Younger children may even still be in diapers or need help with going to the bathroom.
So be prepared.
14 Pros and Cons of Being a Preschool Teacher – Summary Table
|1. Personally Rewarding||1. Physically Demanding|
|2. Chance To Be Creative And Have Fun||2. Low Pay|
|3. Interact With Children In A Positive Way||3. Stressful|
|4. Flexible Hours and Schedule||4. Dealing With Difficult Behaviors|
|5. Bring Your Own Child||5. Picky Parents|
|6. Build Relationships||6. Lack Of Money/Support|
|7. Free Training And Education||7. Germs/Messy Situations|
Should You Become A Preschool Teacher?
If you’re wondering if becoming a preschool teacher is right for you, it’s important to understand what skills and responsibilities are involved.
This is why weighing the pros and cons against what you are personally looking for in a career, is so important.
For example, the pay is simply not the best.
However, if doing something that fulfills you is more important, then that should definitely help you in your decision.
If you believe you can tackle the physical demands, don’t mind paperwork, and can remain calm and patient in all situations, then being a preschool teacher may be a good career choice.