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Career and Education Opportunities for Kindergarten Teachers in Vancouver, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for kindergarten teachers in the Vancouver, Washington area. About 3,260 people are currently employed as kindergarten teachers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow 16% to about 3,790 people employed. 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 $12 per hour or $51,010 per year in Washington, and an average of $11 per hour or $45,804 per year nationwide. Kindergarten teachers earn less than people working in the category of Primary and Secondary School Education generally in Washington and more than people in the Primary and Secondary School Education category nationally. Kindergarten teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: art teacher, bilingual kindergarten teacher, and elementary teacher.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a kindergarten teacher. Given that the most common education level for kindergarten teachers is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Vancouver include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Curator. Administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.
  • 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 Special Education Teacher. Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
  • 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.
  • Special Education Teacher. Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
  • Special Needs Teacher. Teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
  • Teaching Assistant. Perform duties that are instructional in nature or deliver direct services to students or parents. Serve in a position for which a teacher or another professional has ultimate responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Kindergarten Teacher Training

Cascade College - Portland, OR

Cascade College, 9101 E Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97216-1515. Cascade College is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 282 students. Cascade College has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated four, two, and six students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.