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Career and Education Opportunities for Kindergarten Teachers in Fort Smith, Arkansas

For those living in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, there are many career and education opportunities for kindergarten teachers. There are currently 2,240 working kindergarten teachers in Arkansas; this should grow by 27% to about 2,850 working kindergarten teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for kindergarten teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.0% over the next eight years. In general, kindergarten teachers teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old.

The average wage in the general category of Primary and Secondary School Education jobs is $10 per hour or $40,245 per year in Arkansas, and an average of $11 per hour or $45,804 per year nationwide. Incomes for kindergarten teachers are better than in the overall category of Primary and Secondary School Education in Arkansas, and better than the overall Primary and Secondary School Education category nationally. People working as kindergarten teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: montessori teacher, early childhood teacher, and elementary teacher.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Fort Smith area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree to start your career as a kindergarten teacher. The most common level of education for kindergarten teachers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a kindergarten teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Kindergarten Teacher

In general, kindergarten teachers teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. They also promote physical, mental, and social development.

Kindergarten teachers teach basic skills such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills. They also maintain accurate and complete student records, and ready reports on children and activities, as required by laws and administrative regulations. Equally important, kindergarten teachers have to formulate and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guests, or other experiential efforts, and guide students in learning from those efforts. They are often called upon to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They are expected to organize and lead activities designed to promote physical and social development such as games, arts and crafts and storytelling. Finally, kindergarten teachers perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.

Every day, kindergarten teachers are expected to be able to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for kindergarten teachers to administer standardized ability and achievement tests, and interpret results to establish children's developmental levels and needs. They are often called upon to assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting efforts of interest to them. They also meet with parents and guardians to consider their children's progress, and to establish their priorities for their children and their resource needs. They are sometimes expected to establish and enforce rules for behavior, and policies and procedures to maintain order among students. Somewhat less frequently, kindergarten teachers are also expected to furnish disabled students with assistive devices and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.

Kindergarten teachers sometimes are asked to read books to entire classes or to small groups. And finally, they sometimes have to guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.

Like many other jobs, kindergarten teachers must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
  • Preschool Teacher. Instruct children (normally up to 5 years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Kindergarten Teacher Training

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith - Fort Smith, AR

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is a medium sized university located in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,846 students and an admission rate of 62%. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated fifty-five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.