An Early Childhood Education/ A. S. degree is perfect for people who love children. There are many career choices and even choices within those careers that you choose just by getting this degree. It is important to know all of your options before picking a degree that will determine the career you will have for the rest of your life. “Early childhood education is a term that refers to educational programs and strategies geared toward children from birth to the age of eight. This time period is widely considered the most vulnerable and crucial stage of a person’s life” (Beth Lewis).
It is the teaching of young children by people outside of the family and outside of their home. Some career paths you can take with this degree are being a classroom aide, ECE teacher, site supervisor, program director, preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, resource and referral professional, social service worker, youth and family service worker, camp counselor, recreation leader, foster care provider, mental health paraprofessional, or child advocate and even more (Mason, Janet).
Though all of those seem interesting, a preschool, teachers aide, and kindergarten teacher are the three career paths I find most interesting so I decided to do my research on them. A preschool teacher is a possible career choice from getting your early childhood education degree. Preschool teachers take care of young children while educating them. They do not teach the children how to read or write yet, but they explain reading and writing. They also teach some science and social studies but only of what a child can understand at that age.
Children in preschool mostly learn through play so they do a lot of that in preschool. Preschool teachers are supposed to watch over them. The ages of the preschool children that the teacher cares to is anywhere from 3 to 5. These are the ages of children who have not yet entered kindergarten. An associates degree is all that is needed to become a preschool teacher. The median pay is $25,700 per year, which is $12. 35 per hour (bls. gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers).
“Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to a continued focus on the importance of early childhood education and the growing population of children ages 3 to 5” (bls. gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers). Another job you can get through this degree is a teachers aide. With this job, you will be responsible for assisting a classroom teacher in general supervision and management of the kids.
You must be 18 years of age or older, and have an early childhood education degree. With this job some things you must do are assist in planning and preparing the learning environment, watch the classroom when the teacher is out of the room, pay attention to the children, and clean up the classroom. The median expected salary for a typical teachers aide in the United States is $20,588 (salary. com). You can also become a kindergarten teacher with this degree.
The average salary for a kindergarten teacher is $48,800 per year (bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers). You need a bachelors degree and a state-issued certification or license. To be a kindergarten teacher you need to be very observant. You need to be able to evaluate a students abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
You have to plan lessons that teach students things like reading and math. Benefits of becoming a kindergarten teacher is that you get two months off in the summer, and over a period of time you get tenure. Which means after a certain number of years of teaching, the teacher can have some job security.
The early childhood education/ A. S. degree has many career options that come with it. A preschool teacher, teachers aide, and kindergarten teacher are three very interesting professions. You must love children to be in these professions. Being a kindergarten teacher is what appeals to me the most. Though finding these jobs may be tough to do due to the economic state we are in, I know that if I truly want to become a kindergarten teacher and work hard enough to get it, I will be able to get a job some way or another.