My name is Hemangini Prajapati and I am an aspiring early childhood teacher. My decision to become a teacher was influenced by my interests in children and desires to help them learn and become responsible people. At this point in my life, I already know what I want. I am very passionate about teaching young children and being part of their lives. Teaching gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in this life. It makes my life enjoyable and funnier. While teaching is a noble profession, it’s not the best in terms of salary and even working conditions. For instance, the average salary for a preschool teacher is $14.32 per hour in Houston, Texas. This is a little lower compared to other professions. I love Houston because it’s my home and I am comfortable living here. Moreover, the living conditions are relatively better than in other parts of the country. I have discovered my talent is in teaching and have been using the Clifton strengths assessment to develop my talent into strengths and apply them in my future career. I have discovered that harmony, restorative, empathy, consistency, and connectedness are my strengths and hopes to apply them to become a better teacher in the future.
In the last semester, I was able to interact with my teachers and colleagues in my quest for more skills and knowledge. Throughout the last semester in school, I have gained substantial knowledge and experience that I will use in my future career as an early childhood teacher. Being a teacher requires dedication and commitment but more importantly strength and talents. I found that the Clifton strengths assessment is a very reliable tool that enabled me to the five strengths that I will use to improve myself and become a better student and afterward a successful teacher. My five strengths include harmony, restorative, empathy, consistency, and connectedness. As a teacher, I need to be able to interact with my children nicely and avoid any conflict as much as possible. My strength of empathy will enable me to understand the feelings and concerns of children and their parents. My decisions will always be child-centered. I am consistent and restorative and these two qualities enable me to treat people the same in my classroom which will bring discipline and my other strength will help me in figuring out the issue in a class room and hoe to manage emotion and to be able to resolve. These are skills and experience I will acquire during my study will enable me to become a better student and afterward teach my children with passion and professionalism.
The national average salary of a preschool teacher in the United States is about $29,780 per year. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for a preschool teacher is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2028. This rate of growth in the education sector is higher than the average growth in other occupations. The education required for preschool teachers in the early childhood education field often varies by employers. However, a bachelor’s degree or associate’s in early childhood education is often a basic requirement. I am also aware that some states often require national certification for one to secure employment as a preschool teacher (Learn.org, 2020). All these aspects of the preschool teaching profession are manageable and favor my career goals.
With my strengths and talents, I am confident that the average annual salary of a preschool teacher in working fulltime of about $29,780 is enough for me. Further, I am aware of the tremendous responsibilities awaiting me in the teaching profession, but since I have the required education qualification, skills, and knowledge, I do not doubt that I will manage them efficiently. Moreover, I am confident that I will secure fulltime employment as a preschool teacher anywhere in Houston Texas because there are lots of opportunities that exist in my field.
In Houston, salaries, especially within the early childhood education sector, reflect the low cost of living in the state of Texas. Further, preschool teachers are actually among the best-paid workers in the education sector. However, almost every worker is looking forward to an increase in salaries to afford a better lifestyle. In my case, as indicated earlier, I like to live a considerably simple life. I love shopping for clothes, eating a balanced diet, and most importantly afford decent housing. My expenses include clothes, food, and other miscellaneous expenditure that amounts to about $15,000 per year. Therefore, the annual salary of a preschool teacher in Houston is within my budget and can afford me a comfortable lifestyle. Nevertheless, I believe that in the future I might need a higher income to support myself and my family as well. This means I might consider widening my net and getting extra income by working part-time in other childcare centers within the state.
Houston's cost of living index is 96.5 which is below the U.S average of 100. This means that Houston is less expensive to live and work compared to other cities such as New York and Miami. In Houston, the median home price is about $185,500. In terms of food and groceries, health, utilities, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses, Houston remains most favorable and cheap. Overall, Miami Florida median house cost of $329,900 is 27.6% more expensive than Houston. New York is even higher with a median housing cost of $680,500. Its overall index (not considering taxes, child care, and health) is 187.2 which is way above the national average of 100. In terms of transportation, Houston's cost of living index is 119 while Miami and New York stand at 144.5 and 181.1 respectively. This means that Miami and New York are more expensive to live and therefore, I would not consider them as my favorite place to live and work.
In the future, I intend to volunteer at Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders organization. Red Cross is a charity organization that partners with government and volunteers to help communities by responding to their humanitarian and development needs. Their purpose is to alleviate human suffering and save lives. The organization is independent, neutral, and impartial and explicitly avoids political, economic, or religious factors in its decision making. Volunteering with these two organizations will provide me with a chance to help the needy people and positively impact their lives. Further, I will have a chance to travel across the country and offer my assistance. Empathy is what separates human beings from animals and its one of my greatest strengths. While working with these two organizations might be challenging, I do not doubt that the experience will be fun. I intend to learn lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR and many others. These skills are very important in my career because they will help me attend to my children in case of an emergency at school.
My career goal is to inspire young children to do their best and help them realize their full potential. While achieving my goal, I am aware there will be unforeseen obstacles on the way such as lack of money to buy classroom supplies but I am confident there will always be a solution to any problem I might face. Using my problem-solving skills, I will collaborate with my colleagues and even the school management in efforts to try and find ways we can tackle the obstacles ahead. Finally, I must admit my eagerness to start my career as a preschool teacher and become part of young children’s lives. I want to strive to become a successful teacher and leader and I hope to never stop dreaming of becoming better both for myself and the children. Despite the challenges, I still believe that teaching is a noble profession that offers me the privilege to work with young children and hopefully points them in the right direction in life.
- 2020 Cost of Living Calculator: compare Houston, Texas to Miami, Florida. Bestplaces.net. (2020). Retrieved 21 February 2020, from https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/houston-tx/miami-fl/55000.
- Bls.gov. (2020). Preschool Teachers : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. Bls.gov. Retrieved 21 February 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm.
- Doctors Without Borders - USA. (2020). Volunteer. Doctors Without Borders - USA. Retrieved 23 February 2020, from https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/volunteer.
- How Much Can a Preschool Teacher Expect to Get Paid?. Money.usnews.com. (2020). Retrieved 21 February 2020, from https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/preschool-teacher/salary.
- Learn.org -. Learn.org. (2020). Retrieved 21 February 2020, from https://learn.org/articles/Preschool_Teacher_Career_Profile_Job_Outlook_and_Educational_Requirements.html.
- Redcross.org. (2020). Become a Volunteer. Redcross.org. Retrieved 23 February 2020, from https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html.