9 Ways Preschool Center Directors Can Set New Teachers Up for Success

Projected by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, by the year 2031 there will be a higher than the average 15 percent growth rate in the field of preschool education. Preschool Center Directors, take note! Here are 9 ways to set up new teachers for success and give your center an edge over the competition.  

A teacher and a young preschool age female student high fiving as the preschooler is building with blocks

Instructional Resources  

By nature, preschool teachers are creative types who love putting their personal touch on things. However, providing a wealth of resources to new teachers gives them the advantage of time, which is a hot commodity during their first year! Have a variety of lesson plans, craft ideas, and tried-and-true activities at the ready. For an added bonus, consider providing supplies for some of them. Think: the first week’s worth of stuff to get new teachers on their feet.   

Mentor Teacher  

A more experienced educator or someone to bounce ideas off is hugely beneficial for new teachers. They will inevitably traverse unchartered territory and when they do, having a trusted mentor to turn to will make all the difference.   

Competitive Compensation  

To determine a fair salary, compare the price points of centers in the surrounding area and aim to pay your teachers comparably. The appeal of competitive pay speaks for itself, but there are other benefits to consider if your financials aren’t where you want them to be. Benefits, opportunity for professional growth, and a supportive work environment are attractive complements to a paycheck.  

Means of Communication  

As with any successful relationship, it is imperative to develop and maintain consistent communication with all educational stakeholders: parents, colleagues, and administrators. Providing preschool teachers with the means to do so, whether it’s something as simple as a newsletter template or access to communication apps like Klassly or TalkingPoints (the latter offering multi-lingual options), encourages meaningful interactions that bridge the distance between the classroom and home.   

Kid-friendly Classrooms  

The words “kid friendly” may conjure different visions for different teachers. Depending on the educator, a brightly lit reading nook or a colorful art space or a label-made haven may be among the visions. Never not an option, though, is a safe and inclusive environment that encourages learning.   

Up-to-date Technology  

Technology has been integrated into nearly all aspects of life, including into our youngest children’s learning. A technology-rich classroom has become the norm in education, enhancing learning experiences for students of all ages. From online learning platforms to educational apps, there are many digital tools preschool teachers can use to support their goal of individualized instruction and help students reach learning milestones at their own pace. For students who do not have ready access to technology at home, the opportunity to use it in the classroom is that much more important.    

Collaborative Classroom Assistant  

Surrounding new hires with a fantastic support staff and allowing time for them to collaborate is quite possibly one of the most impactful things a Center Director can do. Preschool assistants do not necessarily have to be those with formal backgrounds in education. There are plenty of people with a love of children and a passion to help who would make a great sidekick. Reliable, trustworthy, and hardworking classroom assistants are worth their weight in gold.   

Open-door Policy  

All employees should be able to reach out to Center Directors with questions or for help whenever the need arises, but this open- door policy is especially valuable to new teachers. When Directors are available and actively listening, this not only supports new hires as they begin their teaching journey, but it also encourages them to stick around!  

Regular Check-ins  

Just as important as an open-door policy, Center Directors should take the initiative to check in with their new hires on a regular basis. Feeling overwhelmed is familiar to new teachers, and it can often deter them from reaching out even when they need something. These check-ins do not have to be formal in nature; a simple, “what do you need from me right now?” from a Director will go a long way.    

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About the Author:


Stephanie Jankowski is an educator and author who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When she's not teaching or writing, she's spending time with her children, Brady, Ella, and Lyla, and marveling at just how short the years really are.