Applying for a place in a study program, or for your first teaching job, you will always get at least one question about your motivation. It can be “What motivates you to teach?”, “What goals do you want to achieve as a teacher?”, or “Why do you want to be a preschool teacher?”. Interviewers want to make sure that you know what you are doing, and do not just follow a dream of your parents, or an ambition of someone else.

You can refer to several things in your answer to this tricky question. First of all, your love for teaching and for working with small children. Secondly, your strengths and personal traits that make from you a good candidate for the job, and should help you in your work with children between three to five years of age. Thirdly, your own expectations when it comes to both your career and personal life. What you want to achieve, and what role a job at preschool plays in it.

Last but not least, you can get more philosophical, talking about crisis of values and issues we face in the world right now, and explaining how early education can make all the difference in a way a child approaches these challenges, and perhaps even help to address them down the road, and save the world…

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. I tried to include some unconventional answers on my list, to help you see all the possibilities, and eventually come up with an answer that will stand out and help you to eventually sign the coveted employment agreement.


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to work as a preschool teacher?” interview question

  1. I believe it is an ideal career choice for me, considering my strengths and personality. Children find me easy to talk to, and generally they enjoy my company. I understand their emotional world very well, and come up with a proper reaction in a majority of situations. What’s more, I am patient and do not mind spending long hours with activities such as singing and drawing, which I again see as a big plus in preschool. To sum it up, considering everything I know about myself, I see preschool teaching as the best career choice.
  2. I want to teach at preschool because this jobs fits my picture of an ideal life. Money does not motivate me, and I am not someone who would work 250 hours a month in some corporation, regardless of the remuneration package. On the contrary, I am a family person, I want to start my own family one day, and have good life-work balance. I personally know several preschool teachers. They are happy women, not stressed, coming back from work at 3pm, having plenty of time to enjoy the afternoon with their families or friends. I can imagine myself in their place. And since I really enjoy being around children, I see no reason why this won’t be a great career for me.
  3. I just love to teach children. The smaller the better. Of course, I am not naive, and from my short teaching experience at an elementary school I already know it isn’t always a bed of roses. Some children will struggle with discipline, and many children have diagnoses nowadays, such as ADHD. It makes the job more challenging, but I am up for the challenge, and believe I can make a great progress with these children as well, or at least make sure thy progress at their pace, while not spoiling the time of other children in the classroom. To sum it up, I see preschool teaching as a great job for someone like me.
  4. Well, it is the next logical step in my professional career. I have recently earned my Bachelor in the field, and the CDA certificate. I’ve done all I could to prepare for this career–at least in theory, plus I’ve also often worked as a babysitter, helping my neighbors with their 4 years old. Now it is finally time to put into practice all I’ve learned, and get my first full time job as a preschool teacher. I cannot wait for my first day, because I really love this type of work, and understand the importance of this period in the life of every child.
  5. This may sound a bit exaggerated, but working as a preschool teacher I hope to play my role in saving the planet. Let’s be honest. Climate change threatens us all. But older people are often too stubborn and accustomed to their lifestyle to be able to proceed with profound changes required to save the world as we know it today. Everything is different with children. They are just discovering the world at this age, trying to understand it, forming their habits and formulas of thinking. We teachers should help them develop the right values, and make sure that protecting environment is on the top of the list, because without it, everything else loses sense. No wonder so many young people do not want to have children nowadays, seeing no bright future ahead for their offspring. But I believe preschool teachers can play an important role in a positive change, and it is something I aspire to do in my career.
  6. I know it may look strange that I apply for this job, having worked 15 years in HR. But I must confess that I am tired from the corporate world, and cannot sustain my present career any longer. Endless meetings, goals, deadlines, greed… it is just not my world anymore. I am looking for a more simple lifestyle, and in a way I want to live like a child again. Hence I hope to spend as much time with small children as possible, and job of a preschool teacher is a great opportunity to do so. What’s more, I have many artistic abilities. I play three musical instruments, can paint decently, and I can write nice poems and stories for children, as you can see on my portfolio. I believe children will enjoy their time with me in the preschool, just like I will enjoy my time with them.
  7. I want to work as a preschool teachers because it is my childhood dream. All of us dream of some career once we grow up. Some people want to become firefighters or astronauts, others politicians or policemen. But I’ve always wanted to work as a teacher, either at preschool or elementary school. I had great role models in some of my teachers. They helped me to gain confidence and overcome the demons of my difficult childhood, and become the person I am today. Now I would like to pay back the favor, helping other children to develop their full potential, regardless of their background. Let’s make it happen!

Conclusion and other questions for preschool teachers

Applying for any job (or for any school), you should always know why. Because none job is easy, regardless of how attractive the job description looks like. The “why” will help you face the challenges and overcome the difficulties on your way to become the best preschool teacher you can be. Inspire yourself with my sample answers, and ensure the interviewers you know what you are doing.

What’s more, do not forget on your non-verbal communication. They have to feel enthusiasm in your voice in order to believe you. First step is always convincing yourself about your motives. Just then will you be able to convince anyone else…

Ready to answer this question? I hope so! Do not forget to check also other tricky interview questions for teachers:

Matthew Chulaw
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