This study, which aims to reveal the opinions of teacher candidates about the leader teacher in pre-school education, is designed with a qualitative research approach. The study group of the research consists of 34 teacher candidates studying at Anadolu University Pre-school Education Programme in Turkey. The research data were collected through a semi-structured interview form developed by the researcher. The data were analysed by content analysis method. According to the results of the research, a leader teacher in pre-school classrooms is a person who has positive personality traits such as being loving, patient, developing positive relationships with his/her environment, guiding his/her environment and making a difference, as well as professional characteristics such as developing children, developing himself/herself professionally, managing the learning and teaching process, knowing children, being open to communication and cooperation, creating a positive classroom climate, having professional ethics, having professional knowledge and skills. Leading teacher in pre-school classrooms should possess professional ethical values and positive personality traits (patient, calm, loving, etc.) as well as skills such as effective management of the learning and teaching process, time and programme, evaluation and management of children's behaviour, effective communication, meeting management, stress and crisis management, personal and professional self-development, collaboration with colleagues and families, and pursuing the best interests of children in all situations. Some situations related to the teaching environment, related to families and children, related to professional skills, and some situations specific to the individual are challenging for the leader teacher in pre-school education classrooms. In order to make pre-school education widespread and effective practices in education, teachers should go beyond their traditional roles and carry the roles required by teacher leadership to their profession. In order to achieve this, attention should be drawn to management and leadership issues in pre-school education, more studies should be carried out on this subject, and more pre-service and in-service trainings on management and leadership should be provided.
Leadership, leading teacher, pre-school education, leadership in pre-school classrooms.