How do you sum up all the duties of a preschool teacher? I have worked in many preschools within schools and private centers over my long career and in that time, a Preschool Teacher’s Job Description has changed numerous times and in many ways.
The role of a preschool teacher is, to an extent, understandable as commonsense. We take care of children in the last year before they enter school and prepare them for that transition, driving their development in a wide range of areas. The preschool year is critical for all children; accordingly, preschools are rightly very careful with who they recruit for the role.
Between preschools, however, the specifics of a job description will differ in style, tone and – to a certain extent – content. In practice, the preschool teacher’s job description is probably one of the most involved out there, because we have so many moving parts to our job.
Generally, a Preschool Teacher’s Job Description will include the following ten elements:
- Provide and maintain a safe, clean and healthy learning environment for children
- Ensure a suitable environment for children’s development and implement appropriate, quality, programs and activities to promote each child’s physical, social, cultural, emotional and intellectual development
- Encourage supportive and productive relationships with families, staff and the community
- Ensure a balance between small group, large group and individual experiences
- Give leadership to updating and evaluating the preschool’s curriculum
- Maintain developmental records for each child and all other routine forms
- Develop and maintain a quality program for each child and their family
- Promote respect for the rights of the child
- Develop and implement appropriate behavior guidance policies, which relate to children’s development levels
- Ensure children with special needs are referred to appropriate agencies and specialists (e.g. speech pathologists, consulting psychologists) and ensure compliance with advice provided by those agencies.
However, there are dozens more individual aspects to the job that we look after on a day-to-day basis, over and above handling our classes. These will include, but are by no means limited to, these twenty aspects:
- Undertaking continuing professional development to stay up-to-date with the latest thinking
- Ensuring fair treatment and respect of children of all races, religion and cultures and ensuring programming takes into account individual needs and preferences
- Facilitating effective communication between children and staff, staff and parents and staff and administration
- Understanding the needs of the local community and integrating these needs into lesson plans
- Supporting and facilitating the involvement of parents in the preschool and the children’s learning
- Ensuring maintenance of the program to remain in line with your philosophy and the philosophy of the preschool
- Facilitating and attending meetings with parents
- Provide information to parents regarding the preschool, as well as individual children’s development and needs
- Refer parents to appropriate agencies for help where appropriate
- Remain up-to-date with, and adhere to, all policies covering health and safety, licensing and emergencies (including participating in drills and maintaining up-to-date first aid training)
- Maintaining confidentiality in line with regulatory and legal requirements
- Reporting any suspected cases of abuse and neglect, in line with any relevant legal requirements
- Plan and complete bulletin boards
- Prepare newsletters
- Maintain attendance records and enrolment information
- Keep track of children’s medical conditions and any medication requirements
- Actively monitor children with allergies and be ready to take action
- Complete accident reports where necessary
- Attend and contribute to staff meetings
- Provide feedback to the preschool to improve policies, procedures and programs.
I always laughed when people told me they’d like my job because they’d get to sit around and play with kids all day – I think I’ll just direct them to this page in future!