Step by Step: How to Become a Early Childhood Education Teacher

Posted On October 16,2020

Knowing the step by step process of becoming a teacher can be a helpful tool for any prospective student, especially if you find yourself feeling stuck in a career decision-making process. If you love the idea of becoming a teacher and working with children but aren’t quite ready to fully commit to a program yet, we understand.

Young teacher helping a student on the computer.

Step 1: Earn Your Degree

The first step is to enroll in an accredited early childhood education (ECE) program that offers a comprehensive Early Childhood Education Associate Degree. In this program, you’ll learn a wealth of valuable skills and information geared specifically towards preparing you for a successful career in early childhood education. You will learn how to educate and inspire young students using positive guidance and developmentally appropriate practice methods. This program should cover the developmental levels of birth through age 8.

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Step 2: Complete a Teaching Internship if Required

Depending on the program you’re enrolled in, you may need to complete a student teaching internship. Teaching internships offer an excellent preview of what’s to come after school ends and your real teaching career begins. During an internship, students will typically observe a teacher in a classroom setting and teach a few lessons with a mentor’s guidance. As the internship progresses, students may also be expected to create their own lesson plans and curriculum in a classroom setting, under the supervision of a teaching professional.

Step 3: Complete Your School or State’s Requirements

Since teaching young children is such a highly specialized field, some schools may require a degree in early childhood education or child development. Most preschools require an associate degree at a minimum, with some Montessori schools requiring a bachelor’s degree. If you know which schools you’d potentially like to work for, it’s always a good idea to connect with an administrator and ask them what their specific requirements are. Who knows? They may even be interested in interviewing you when the time comes, or they have an opening to fill. Networking is a smart way to get your name out there and make some connections with potential employers that you’re interested in working for.

Step 4: Obtain Your Teaching Certificate if Applicable

If you plan on working as an early childhood educator in a public school, you’ll likely need to be certified by the state you wish to teach in first. Private schools may also require certification as well, but it really depends on the school’s specific requirements. Each state has their own individual licensing requirements, so you’ll want to research your specific requirements beforehand.

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Step 5: Apply for Open Early Childhood Educator Positions

Once you’ve completed all of the steps required in your early childhood education program, then it’s time to begin applying for jobs. If you haven’t already, prepare a resume and cover letter, and update your LinkedIn profile or other job searching sites.

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Ready to Teach?

While the step by step process of becoming a teacher may seem overwhelming at first glance, don’t let it stop you from achieving a career you’ve always dreamed of. Once you begin these steps, you’ll find your groove and you will be unstoppable! Check the first step off of your list by contacting Athena Career Academy today for more information or for enrollment assistance.