Are you passionate about early childhood education and supporting the development of young children? Are you wondering how to prepare for a preschool teacher interview? If so, you’re in the right place. The quality of a preschool program comes from the commitment to excellence on behalf of early childhood educators, and the difference you make in the lives of children every day is a rewarding process. We’re here to help you in the preparation for a preschool teacher interview to get you started on your journey as an educator. Here at Kids’ Care Club, preschool teachers are selected on the basis of three factors: educational background, teaching experience, and personal qualities. Let’s dive in.
1. Early Childhood Education Units
Early Childhood Education (ECE) units are the most important requirement to become a preschool teacher. Prior to the interview, make sure that you have completed the adequate amount of ECE units for the position, and be prepared to provide your potential employer with transcripts. ECE unit requirements vary from state to state. California requires 12 units in early childhood education and/or child development if teaching in public school districts, private programs, non-profit programs, or head start programs. These units can be completed on their own through an accredited program, or as part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Teachers with either an associate’s degree (2 years to complete) or a bachelor’s degree (4 years to complete) in early childhood development stand out particularly. In some settings, an associate’s degree is required.
If you have completed Early Childhood Education (ECE) units, we invite you to explore our career opportunities. If you are in the process of working towards 12 ECE units, we encourage you to reach out and learn more about how Kids’ Care Club works with teachers regardless of where they are in their early childhood education path. We are passionate about supporting our teachers in furthering their education, with an education benefit that funds your efforts in classes at community, private, and technical colleges.
2. Relevant Experience
Prior to your preschool teacher interview, consider your childcare experience. Relevant child care experience is most commonly paid work or a volunteer position in a licensed preschool. If you have extensive experience working with children in other environments, such as nannies, we encourage sharing that too! While previous experience isn’t required, it’s a huge plus and helps you stand out to employers. This can also dictate your role in the classroom. For example, if you were an associate teacher in a previous position, you may be eligible to become a master teacher in your new role.
3. Think about Interview questions.
It’s a good practice to consider and run through possible questions prior to an interview. But, what kind of questions might arise during a preschool interview? There can be variability in the questions depending on the specific style of the center and their approach. Montessori schools may look for teachers that know how to utilize their specialized learning materials, while a Waldorf school may want teachers that are ready to design an experiential and academically rigorous approach to education. Each school is different, and we have listed five questions that can give you a better sense of what to expect.
- Tell me about yourself?
- If I were to walk into your classroom during an early literacy or math activity, what would I see?
- Describe some of your positive guidance strategies for discipline.
- How do you plan to communicate with families?
- What makes you the best candidate for this position?
In addition to answering questions, we encourage all teachers to ask their prospective employers questions too. What is the turnover rate for teachers? What is the company work culture like? In order to successfully fulfill your job as an educator, you need to make sure that the position is a right fit on both ends.
It takes a big heart to shape a little mind. Being a preschool teacher can be one of the most rewarding careers, and we’re excited for you to embark on your journey as an educator. Kids’ Care Club hires on a rolling basis and is excited to welcome qualified candidates to our team. Explore our career opportunities today.