Kindergarten teachers work with children four to six years old. Training in early childhood development can be especially helpful kindergarten teachers who have to keep a relatively playful but orderly atmosphere in the classroom while teaching the basics of phonics, reading, science, math, and personal hygiene to their young students.
Kindergarten teachers use small and large group activities, including games, story time, arts and crafts projects, songs, and dance to keep students engaged in learning the foundations of subjects they’ll continue to study throughout their education. Kindergarten teachers must also monitor students’ intellectual, emotional, behavioral, and social progress and communicate this information to parents and school administrators.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2011 median pay for kindergarten teachers was $49,520. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,100, and the top 10 percent earned more than $76,900.
The BLS estimates that there were 164,910 kindergarten teachers (not including special education teachers) in the US in 2011 and projects there will be 211,900 in 2020 for an increase of 18%. Growth is expected because of both declines in student-teacher ratios and increases in enrollment. Employment growth will vary by region and may be reduced by state and local government budget deficits.
A significant number of older teachers will reach retirement age from 2010 to 2020, creating job openings for new teachers. However a surplus of teachers trained to teach kindergarten and elementary school may make it difficult to find a job.