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Career and Education Opportunities for Preschool Teachers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

If you want to be a preschool teacher, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 8,800 jobs for preschool teachers in Michigan and this is projected to grow by 11% to about 9,790 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

A person working as a preschool teacher can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $28,270 yearly on average in Michigan and about $11 per hour or $23,870 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Primary and Secondary School Education, people working as preschool teachers in Michigan earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Primary and Secondary School Education nationally. People working as preschool teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: bilingual teacher, day care teacher, and teacher.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a preschool teacher, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. Given that the most common education level 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 Grand Rapids 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

Grace Bible College - Wyoming, MI

Grace Bible College, 1011 Aldon SW, Wyoming, MI 49509. Grace Bible College is a small college located in Wyoming, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 177 students and an admission rate of 65%. Grace Bible College has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

Muskegon Community College - Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442-1432. Muskegon Community College is a small college located in Muskegon, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,747 students. Muskegon Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.

Cornerstone University - Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897. Cornerstone University is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,759 students and an admission rate of 75%. Cornerstone University has an associate's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated three students in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has an associate's degree program in Child Care and Support Services Management which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.