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Career and Education Opportunities for Preschool Teachers in Tampa, Florida

If you want to be a preschool teacher, the Tampa, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 22,570 jobs for preschool teachers in Florida and this is projected to grow by 28% to about 28,920 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.

Income for preschool teachers is about $10 per hour or $22,440 yearly on average in Florida. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,870 annually. Incomes for preschool teachers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Primary and Secondary School Education in Florida, and not quite as good as the overall Primary and Secondary School Education category nationally. Preschool teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: head start teacher, associate teacher, and lead teacher.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including four within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a preschool teacher. The most common level of education for preschool teachers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Tampa 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

Southeastern University - Lakeland, FL

Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33801-6034. Southeastern University is a small university located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,075 students. Southeastern University has an associate's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has an associate's degree program in Child Care and Support Services Management which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

University of South Florida - Tampa, FL

University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620-9951. University of South Florida is a large university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 46,174 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of South Florida has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-seven and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Florida Southern College - Lakeland, FL

Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801-5698. Florida Southern College is a small college located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,319 students and an admission rate of 67%. Florida Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.