Becoming a preschool teacher is a rewarding career, and one that is in high demand today. Preschool educators require extensive training in the field of early childhood education and development. In addition to your required high school core subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic, you can get a head start on your preschool teaching career by taking several helpful electives.
Whether it be painting, sculpting, cutting or gluing, introducing art to young children is the perfect way to foster creativity, teach problem-solving skills and nurture self-confidence. In a high school art class, you will learn about different artists, their works and their methods, as well as refine your own artistic technique. While this information is important, you should also remember that art is always about the process, not the product. The good news is that you don't have to be Monet to introduce art in your classroom. As long as your preschool children are having fun, they are learning through play.
There are various types of high school classes available within the subject of music: chorus, orchestra, private lessons and music history. However, your level of talent is not what makes you an expert in music appreciation. Singing nursery rhymes, playing instruments, whistling and even reading a book in different voices are all ways you can include musical experiences in your future classroom. Music can elicit emotions, curiosity, imagination and dramatic play -- all important aspects of early childhood development.
With the increasing concern of obesity in today's society, physical education is starting to take priority in early childhood education. Staying fit and developing gross motor skills is the key focus of physical education in a preschool classroom. By taking gym class in high school, you will not only be introduced to the proper way to exercise and stay healthy, but you will also engage in various activities that can easily be adapted for preschoolers. For example, your future students may not be prepared to execute a slam dunk, but bouncing, kicking and throwing a ball are effective ways to encourage physical play.
In a high school psychology class you will be introduced to adolescent and child development, as well as how to understand the complexity of human thoughts, emotions, attitudes, values and behaviors. A psychology class is not limited to lectures and papers. Your teacher will encourage you to apply your knowledge to everyday life. You will find that having a basic understanding of child psychology will make it easier for you to interact with students when it comes to behavior management and diversifying instruction.
- College Board: How to Choose High School Electives
- Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the Product; MaryAnn F. Kohl
- Education Portal: How to Become a Certified Preschool Teacher
- Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children's Lives, Second Edition; Patricia Shehan Campbell
Ashley K. Alaimo is a writer, blogger and certified teacher in New York. She has a master's degree in elementary education and early childhood education from Medaille College, as well as a bachelor's degree in music and theater from Buffalo State College. Alaimo has also worked as an education specialist with ages birth to 12 years old, creating classroom and enrichment curriculum for various early childhood centers.