Teachers play a pivotal part in nurturing growth in society. As historian Henry Brooks Adams said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Preschool teachers, in particular, are responsible for supporting and encouraging young minds, teaching them various aspects of life.
Having a heart for teaching is only half of the job. You also need to be qualified to teach in the state you live.
If you have dreams of becoming a preschool teacher in Florida, here’s what you need to know:
Signs You Should Be Teaching Preschool
Reading this article is the first indication that you are interested in being a preschool teacher. Let’s explore a few other signs to show that you’re following the right path.
- You’re (very) patient
- Enthusiasm comes naturally to you
- You believe in encouraging and motivating others
- Ability to transform something boring into a fun activity
- Extensive organization skills
- You can be flexible
- Dedicated to your passion
Requirements for Being a Preschool Teacher in Florida
While having the right attitude and qualities to be a preschool teacher will help find success in a career, the correct training will kickstart the career in the first place. If you want to be a preschool teacher in Florida, then you need to meet the following requirements.
Approved Teacher Preparation Program
The approved teacher preparation program is the first step to becoming a preschool teacher in Florida. Different approved programs include a bachelor’s degree or higher, and all of the necessary requirements to graduate. We all know how practical goes hand-in-hand with theory, which is why a 10-week field experience is one of these compulsory requirements.
If you hold a Bachelor’s degree in another field, then you can complete a program through a Florida-approved Educator Preparation Institute. This will qualify you to teach in pre-kindergarten and preschool education.
Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations
A teacher’s preparation program is only one part of the full qualification process. You also need to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) which includes a General Knowledge Test among others.
Depending on the age group that you prefer to specialize in, your assessment will be slightly different.
Once you’ve earned the necessary qualifications, you need to apply for your educator certificate through the Florida Department of Education’s online application portal. A successful application will earn you an Official Statement of Eligibility, to which you’ll add your fingerprints.
The educator certificate also needs to be maintained. In Florida, the certificate is only valid for five years after which it needs to be renewed. The renewal process involves completing at least six semester hours of college credit. As an alternative, many educators opt to pursue a master’s degree.
What to Expect as a Preschool Teacher in Florida
Once you’ve got all of the necessary qualifications to teach preschool in Florida, then you can begin applying for jobs. There are many different roles and responsibilities when it comes to teaching preschoolers, including the following;
- Teach basic skills through a blended play and learning structure
- Develop a creative and suitable preschool curriculum
- Engage in various educational techniques such as storytelling and educational play
- Observe each child and monitor their abilities
- Guide each child to develop their capabilities
- Encourage interaction between children
- Track progress
- Communicate with parents
- Collaborate with other educators
- Maintain and clean and healthy learning environment as stipulated by Florida’s health and safety standards
Quality Education at Providence Children’s Academy
There are various steps involved to work as a preschool teacher in Florida, and the honor of the job makes it all worth it. It’s important to stay up to date with your credentials so that you offer your students the most up-to-date curriculum, putting new theories into practice.
At Providence Children’s Academy, we’re a family-owned preschool, and proud to have a team of passionate and qualified teachers. Find out more about our various preschool programs or schedule a tour by contacting us online or give us a call at 954-570-6914