If you’re patient and have a passion for little children then a career as a Preschool Teacher could be for you.
A Preschool Teacher is responsible for nurturing and building into the lives of very young people in a vulnerable and crucial stage of their development. It is essential that you are equipped with knowledge on how to support the development of children from birth up until they are ready for grade one.
You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:
- English (Home Language or First Additional Language)
- Pure Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
- Life Orientation
- Xhosa, Zulu or Afrikaans
- Art or Design
In general you will need an APS of between 30 and 34+ in order to get in at one of these institutions:
- Stellenbosch University – No specific APS required but you will need to meet the entry requirements
- University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 26 – 30
- University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – APS of 36+
- University of Western Cape (UWC) – APS of 30
- University of Johannesburg (UJ) – APS of 26
If you complete a bachelor’s degree in teaching your options can be increased as opposed to if you aim for the minimum achievement which would be a level 1 from a South African Qualifications Authority. Essentially, you will need training in early childhood development, and to know how to add value to the life of a child between birth and the age of 6 years old.
You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Preschool Teacher:
- an ability to work with people
- problem solving
- flexibility and adaptability
- awesome creativity, an ability to inspire and captivate toddlers
- time management skills
- a love and passion for early childhood development
- a love for small children
- patience and responsibility
- good communications skills
- high organisational skills and lesson planning ability
- a good sense of humour
- an understanding of what children need
As a Preschool Teacher, you will be able to work in one of the following environments:
- Preschools: government and private
- Childcare centres
- Anywhere that involves the care and development of very little children
Regular working hours for Preschool Teachers is anywhere between 7:30am – 3:30pm. You would also need to be prepared to attend school meetings, parent meetings and help with curriculum activities outside of normal work hours.
Being a teacher also requires preparation before and after a fun filled day of learning – this would require extra time.
According to PayScale, a Preschool Teacher in South Africa can earn an average of around R88 083 per year with an hourly rate of R30. It all depends on your experience as a Preschool Teacher and where you choose to work.
Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Preschool Teacher:
A rather demanding role as Preschool Teaching can take up a lot of your time. However, it is incredibly rewarding to witness growth and development in the lives of little tots. Your hard work and investment will pay off!
Planning lessons, activities and what each day will look like.
You’ll be in charge of best practices in the classroom and potentially managing other teachers, or you’ll work together with other teachers under the principle.
Expect to be full of energy, creative thinking and fresh ideas.
Expect to motivate tiny people, and converse with parents about progress and all sorts of other factors relating to child care and development.