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Early childhood education texas tech degree plan

In addition to laying out the best options for college, post graduate degrees, state specific education requirements, and job opportunities, our website outlines the amount of learning that is necessary for prospective educators. Current students who want to become early childhood educators need to ensure that their prospective college offers the proper programs. These programs are often tied to a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, while some students may even get their Master’s.

Some schools offer specific programs that will only coach prospective teachers into working for nursery and kindergarten programs, while others will offer a broader education. Depending on your desired careers, you must choose the right program. Being pigeon holed into a specific program is something you may regret in 10 or 15 years.

For a detailed look at the best colleges, highest paying education jobs, top education resources to help prospective teachers, and much more information, you should look at the various articles on our website. Not only will you be more informed about where to study and apply for jobs, but you will develop a deeper understanding of various education professions.

Their brains develop faster than at any other point in their lives, so these years are critical. The foundations for their social skills, self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook are established during these years, as well as the development of cognitive skills.

Early childhood education is encouraged for the healthy development and nurturing of all these important foundations, and trends show that parents are increasingly recognizing this. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enrollment in prekindergarten-level education has risen from 96,000 to over 1 million in the last 30 years.

Early childhood education is not mandated by the United States Department of Education.

Working With Young Children

When deciding if early childhood education is right career choice for you, the first and most important question to ask yourself is: Do I like working with children? If you can’t answer yes, then this career may not be best for you. Working with children requires patience, dedication and sensitivity. Trying to keep up with them can be exhausting, but if you’re up to the challenge, it can also be extremely rewarding.

Young children are not like other students. Their needs are unique and you must be aware of this. It is important to understand that you could be one of the first adults a young child has interacted with outside of his or her own family.

Great teachers are adaptable to the emotional reactions of their students. And when it comes to your students’ interactions with other children, this can be one of the first times they interact with children their age. A teacher’s role often becomes that of mediator when children have problems sharing or learning how to get along.

Furthermore, teachers in early education need to be creative and adaptive. They must think outside their own mature perspective and be able to place themselves in their students’ shoes. What motivates a very young child? How do you hold a toddler’s interest? How do you make learning fun? These are all questions you will have to ask yourself. Lessons in early education classrooms are very hands-on.

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How Can I Become an Early Childhood Educator?

As an aspiring early education teacher, you need to have the right temperament. Patience, creativity, sensitivity, communication skills and ability to connect with children are arguably some of the most important qualifications. However, you’re also expected to have the proper schooling and credentials, and each state sets its own standards for what they expect from qualified teachers. Before beginning your path to becoming an early childhood educator, you should find out what the requirements are for your state or school where you want to teach.

Because teaching young children is such a highly specialized field, some schools require a degree in early childhood education or child development.

Of course, having an advanced degree such as a master’s in education or teaching in this field only improves your abilities, job prospects and opportunities for career advancement.

Once you have attained your degree, you need to look into your state’s requirements to earn your official teaching credential. The Council for Professional Recognition offers the Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential in different areas of early childhood education. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education offers national certification as well. Also, it is important to note that to teach at a Montessori school you must complete a special Montessori teacher education program. Once you are certified, the most important way to build your career is through experience.


Preschool is not daycare, contrary to some general misconceptions. Whereas daycare is often childcare without an emphasis on learning, preschool is a child’s first formal learning environment. Preschool focuses on cognitive and social development by stimulating a child’s curiosity and imagination. Children learn through sharing toys, taking turns, and interacting with their teachers and each other. The classrooms themselves are very lively, brightly decorated with posters of the alphabet, maps, number tables and student artwork. Classrooms must be interactive and stimulating to foster an exciting learning environment. Teacher-student ratios are also closely monitored to ensure close interactions, and class sizes are kept relatively small.

However, the evidence of the lasting effects of preschool has prompted some government action. The Department of Health and Human Services instituted the Head Start Program to provide early childhood education to children from low-income families and promote their healthy development. Return to the top

Montessori Schools

Montessori schools are institutions centered around the Montessori method of learning. This method, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori over a hundred years ago, emphasizes the curiosity, creativeness and self-motivation of the child and stresses independence. This “child centered” approach to education differs from traditional methods in several major ways. Perhaps the most notable feature of Montessori schools is the classroom itself, where multiple age groups learn within one environment.

Younger children learn from the older ones, while the older children are able to practice teaching things they already know.

Montessori classrooms are also designed to foster independence and exploratory learning. In these classrooms, students are given the freedom to chose what to learn and to set their own pace. The classrooms have multiple interactive spaces, each dedicated to a different academic area, such as language arts, math and science. Children are encouraged to explore these areas in the order that most interests them, and they often end up working closely with other students to explore these areas together. Despite the autonomy, teachers in Montessori schools are by no means passive or uninvolved.

They are highly involved in this self-motivated learning process. The American Montessori Society provides a very detailed Introduction to Montessori schools that further illustrates the methods and pedagogy of this innovative approach.

Montessori institutions are private schools, and are therefore not funded by the government. Their teachers are also not subject to national teacher certification and licensure standards, though they are required to have at least a Bachelor’s (preferably in child development or early childhood education) and complete a special teacher education program.

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Kindergarten is usually seen as the beginning of formal education, and it is fully integrated into the elementary school system.

Children enter kindergarten during ages five to six, and many states do not begin mandating education until age seven. However, whether it is mandatory or not, it is still highly encouraged. Though kindergarten is more formal, it still qualifies as early childhood education because students are under eight years old. They are still developing at a rapid pace, and kindergarten is important to easing their transition into elementary school.

Kindergarten focuses heavily on social development and peer-to-peer interactions, though there is greater emphasis on fundamental academics than there is in preschool. In preschool children learn how to count, but in kindergarten they begin learning about adding and subtracting.


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