Early Childhood Education Degrees in Virginia
If you think back to your elementary school days, you can likely recall several teachers that made a big impression on you. Maybe they believed in you when other teachers wrote you off, or maybe they helped you discover a topic that you’re now passionate about.
Many new teachers get into this field because of the impact left by great educators. When you become an early childhood educator in Virginia, you can help children of all learning needs get the support they deserve.
Becoming an Early Childhood Teacher in Virginia
Early education includes children through third grade, which means that you must be ready to work with students in a wide age range. An understanding of child development and educational psychology is a huge asset.
Learn more about an early childhood education degree by contacting Virginia schools today.
Education is a unique field; it is regulated on a federal level, but it is also overseen at the state level. You must adhere to federal standards while still meeting the expectations of Virginia legislators.
You may want to join the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education to get a feel for this field, get in touch with experienced educators, and attend training seminars.
Virginia is home to many colleges and universities with early childhood education programs.
Discover which program is well-suited to your needs by getting in touch with local schools below.
Getting Your Early Childhood Education Degree in Virginia
The degree you earn depends on what your long-term career goals are.
If you earn an Associate’s degree in early education, you may be able to graduate and start your career in just two years. However, this type of degree does not license you to work independently as a teacher. You can work as a teaching assistant under a licensed teacher in a daycare or preschool setting.
If you want to become a fully licensed teacher, you need to get a Bachelor’s degree, which takes the average student four years. By the time you graduate, you should have no fewer than 120 credits.
Your curriculum may include core teaching courses like those listed below.
Early Childhood Ed Courses in Virginia
- Language Arts for Young Children
- Teaching Art, Music, and Movement to Children
- Child Psychology
- Reading Methods
- Models of Early Childhood Education Programs
- Early Childhood Programs, Schools, and Social Change
- Math, Science, and Social Studies for Children
Many of your credits also come from classroom practicum rotations. By getting training hours in preschools, daycares, and elementary schools, you can figure out which level of teaching within early education best fits your personality. You may also see the theories you learn in your classes come to life when you interact with children. Experience requirements ramp up each year of your degree, leading to a full semester of student teaching at the end of your degree. As a student teacher, you may start by getting to know students and observing your supervising teacher. However, you are generally expected to quickly take on full teaching duties, lesson planning, student assessment, and class management duties.
As you near the end of your degree, apply for licensure through the Virginia Department of Education. You can find details at their website when you are ready.
Early childhood education schools in Virginia have the tools you need to build a solid set of teaching skills.
Reach out to schools below for more information.
Working as an Early Childhood Educator in Virginia
In Virginia, job outlook statistics mirror what is reported throughout the United States. O*Net anticipates a 10% increase in preschool teacher job openings by 2024 and an 11% increase in elementary teaching job openings by 2024 (2016).
As a general rule, Virginia salaries trend higher than those claimed in neighboring states. The average annual income for a preschool teacher is $36,710 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Elementary school teachers bring in an average of $63,330 per year (BLS, 2016).
Your teaching responsibilities don’t end when your students leave the classroom at 3:00. In fact, you may find that your love of teaching spills over into other parts of your life. You may work to further the efforts of this field by joining groups like Elevate Early Education, provide after school help to students who are struggling, or run after school activities and clubs.
The present is the best time to make a positive change for your future.
Touch base with early childhood education programs listed below to take your first step.
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