Kindergarten Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Kindergarten Teacher, or Early Childhood Educator, is responsible for supervising children and guiding their development so they have the foundation to succeed in elementary school. Their duties include developing age-appropriate lesson plans for students with different abilities, teaching social skills through guided activities and assessing student projects.

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Kindergarten Teacher duties and responsibilities

Kindergarten Teachers help young children integrate into elementary school by providing them with the fundamental knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Some of their typical daily responsibilities include:

  • Using games, music, artwork, films, books, computers and other tools to teach basic educational and social skills
  • Using play-based learning and hands-on teaching methods
  • Teaching letter recognition, phonics, numbers and awareness of nature and science
  • Maintaining grades for the students and discussing progress with parents
  • Integrating competencies, goals and objectives into lesson plans
  • Monitoring children’s interactions and nurturing cooperation and sharing
  • Working closely with administration, staff and other Teachers
  • Encouraging creativity by organizing art and craft projects
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What does a Kindergarten Teacher do?

Kindergarten Teachers work at public and private elementary schools to teach and motivate children ages four to six. They create lessons on a range of subjects, including basic introductory math, handwriting, spelling, reading, drawing and personal hygiene. Kindergarten Teachers teach students how to communicate their needs, work together with others and express their emotions in a healthy way. They also provide a safe environment for students to practice their fine motor skills through cutting paper, building structures, counting and completing art projects. They grade student projects and create plans to ensure their academic and behavioral development.

Kindergarten Teacher skills and qualifications

Kindergarten Teachers need a variety of skills in order to maintain an organized and positive learning environment for their students, including:

  • Advanced teaching and leadership skills
  • Strong knowledge of subjects to teach students, such as math and science
  • Excellent communication skills for interacting with children, coworkers and parents or guardians
  • Creative and artistic abilities
  • Planning and organizational skills
  • Time management skills and the ability to multitask
  • Patience and flexibility

Kindergarten Teacher salary expectations

Kindergarten Teachers make an average of $33,014 per year in the United States. This salary may vary depending on the candidate’s specific location, education and experience.

Kindergarten Teacher education and training requirements

Kindergarten Teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary or childhood education, though many schools prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in education as well. In addition, Teachers will need to complete appropriate licensing requirements, which often include a valid state-issued teaching certificate for Pre-K through third grade. For candidates who pursued a degree in a specific subject rather than education, employers may prefer them to have also earned a certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or other credentials, like the Early Childhood Teacher certification.

Kindergarten Teacher experience requirements

Most schools look for Kindergarten Teachers who have prior work experience as a Kindergarten or Preschool Teacher, Teaching Assistant or Teacher’s Aide. In general, Teachers should have excellent knowledge of child development and the latest education theories and practices, and they should typically have a few years of experience working with young children. Many applicants complete a student teaching internship as part of their training to become Kindergarten Teachers.

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Frequently asked questions about Kindergarten Teachers


What is the difference between a Kindergarten Teacher and a Preschool Teacher?

Kindergarten Teachers are responsible for groups of children who are entering elementary school, preparing them to interact in a structured school environment and meet educational benchmarks. Preschool Teachers work with younger children, from infants to toddlers. Kindergarten and Preschool Teachers work with different developmental levels, with Kindergarten Teachers beginning to introduce academic concepts and promoting a child’s independence while Preschool Teachers emphasize social and emotional learning and healthy stimulation. Kindergarten Teachers also work at elementary schools where they may do group work with other grades, while Preschool Teachers work at separate institutions that exclusively teach young children.


What qualities make a good Kindergarten Teacher?

Effective Kindergarten Teachers are extremely passionate about their jobs and love working with children. They have to face behavioral and developmental challenges and help kids learn social skills and self-control for the first time, so their passion for the job allows them to be patient and overcome problems. Good Kindergarten Teachers see their students as people and get to know each individual, customizing their teaching style and investing in their personal growth. They are respectful, flexible and energetic, constantly modeling the kind of behavior they want their class to exhibit.


What are the daily duties of a Kindergarten Teacher?

On a typical day, Kindergarten Teachers assist with student drop-off, lining up kindergarten students based on their teacher or escorting them to the cafeteria for breakfast. They greet their class, set expectations for the day and may read a story, sing a song or lead an activity to begin class. Based on a lesson plan they prepared, they pass out supplies and worksheets, giving students instructions on basic academic and life skills. Some schools have a nap time integrated into the day. Kindergarten teachers also supervise recess, lunch and school assemblies.


What should you look for on a Kindergarten Teacher resume?

A Kindergarten Teacher’s resume should highlight their experience working with kids and their training in early childhood education. Different states have different requirements for a kindergarten teacher’s certification, but additional certifications like special needs education, English Language Learner certification and CPR certification can indicate a particularly successful candidate for a Kindergarten Teacher role.

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