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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for preschool teachers in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. There are currently 2,520 jobs for preschool teachers in Arkansas and this is projected to grow 30% to about 3,290 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for preschool teachers are expected to grow by about 18.9%. In general, preschool teachers 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.

Preschool teachers earn about $9 hourly or $19,990 yearly on average in Arkansas and about $11 hourly or $23,870 annually on average nationally. Earnings for preschool teachers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Primary and Secondary School Education in Arkansas and not quite as good as general Primary and Secondary School Education category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: headstart teacher, home visitor - home base head start, and teacher assistant.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can study to be a preschool teacher, among nine schools of higher education total in the Fort Smith area. The most common level of education for preschool teachers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a preschool teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teacher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, preschool teachers 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. They also may be required to hold State certification.

Preschool teachers establish and enforce rules for behavior, and methods for maintaining order. They also furnish a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play. Equally important, preschool teachers have to organize and label materials, and display students' activities in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills. They are often called upon to demonstrate activities to children. They are expected to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. Finally, preschool teachers talk with other staff members to develop and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.

Every day, preschool teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for preschool teachers to collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of preschool programs. They are often called upon to maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws and administrative regulations. They also meet with other professionals to consider individual students' needs and progress. They are sometimes expected to decide on order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment and supplies. Somewhat less frequently, preschool teachers are also expected to furnish disabled students with assistive devices and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.

Preschool teachers sometimes are asked to perform administrative duties such as hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. and administer tests to help decide on children's developmental levels and potential. And finally, they sometimes have to attend staff meetings, and serve on committees as required.

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

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.
  • 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.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Preschool 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.

LICENSES

Teacher, Early Childhood P-4

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Education
Address: Professional Licensure, Room 106B & 107B, Four Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201-1071

Phone: (501) 682-4342
Website: Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure

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.