Section 9503 of the Minnesota Administrative Code, also known as "Rule 3," establishes requirements for becoming a preschool teacher. Preschool teachers work with the youngest children--ranging from birth to about 5 years old--to help them develop vital skills for later academic success. In Minnesota, preschool teachers must meet educational and experience requirements to obtain their teaching licenses.
Registered nurses may be able to teach preschool children in Minnesota without going through the entire teacher licensure process. Registered nurses are qualified to teach infants without gaining additional licenses. In addition, if the nurse works in a preschool that's licensed to have a sick care program, registered nurses are counted towards the staff-to-child ratio for such a program.
Educational and Experience Requirements
Under Rule 3, the experience a preschool teacher requires before she can receive her full teaching license depends on her education level. For example, a teacher who only has a high school diploma must work for 2,400 hours as an assistant teacher and take 24 credits of teacher education, while a teacher who has a credential from the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition needs only 1,560 hours of work experience and doesn't need further education.
Types of Education
Preschool teachers in Minnesota may hold one of nine different credentials. Teachers may hold a high school diploma or receive one of several credentials: a credential from the Montessori institute; a technical institute credential; a childhood development credential; or one of several pre-kindergarten teaching licenses. Preschool teachers in Minnesota don't need a bachelor's degree, although those without one require more work experience and teacher education.
Most preschool teachers gain work experience by working as assistant teachers first. Assistant teachers help teach lessons, take over the class when the primary teacher is called out of the room and develop rapport with students. However, they're not responsible for the classroom; grades, lesson planning and classroom management tasks are the lead teacher's responsibility. Before becoming an assistant teacher, applicants often must serve as interns within the school system. Contact your school district's board of education to find out how to become an assistant teacher.