Before you consider a career as an elementary teacher, you should be aware of the responsibilities and certification requirements.
Elementary school professionals generally work with students from kindergarten through sixth grade (K-6).
Nationwide, elementary school teachers are responsible for instructing one class of children in multiple subjects while helping them with intellectual and emotional development in their early academic years.
While certification requirements may vary from state to state, all states mandate that public educators take a state or federal licensing exam.
Potential teachers must pass exams on pedagogy, general knowledge, and sometimes knowledge of a content area.
an English language learner (often abbreviated to ELL) is a person who is learning the English language in addition to their native language.
Do you love the idea of making a difference in the lives of young children?If so, then working in elementary education might be for you. However, before you consider a career as an elementary school teacher, you should be able to answer the following questions: What does an elementary school teacher do? What are the education and licensing requirements that need to be fulfilled before entering into the classroom? Answering these questions can help focus your energy and time as you begin your journey to becoming an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
Elementary school has always been the main point of delivery for primary education; and high school has always been the focal point of secondary education. Primary education tends to focus on basic academic learning and socialization skills. Elementary school (or "primary school") introduces children to the broad range of knowledge, skills, and behavioral adjustment they need to succeed in life and, particularly, in secondary school. Elementary school professionals generally work with students from kindergarten through the sixth grade (K-6). However, it is important to note that the definition of elementary education may differ slightly from state to state. For example, many states define elementary education as ranging from grades K-6, while other states include grades K-8. Regardless of how the term "elementary" is defined, primary school teachers in all states are responsible for instructing one class of children in multiple subjects while helping them with intellectual and emotional development in their early academic years. Teachers are expected to be able to teach all of the core subject areas - reading and writing, mathematics, languages, science, social studies, and art.
All public school educators, including elementary public school teachers, are required to earn a bachelor's degree in education. However, unlike secondary school teachers, elementary educators take courses in multiple subject areas instead of just one. For example, if you are earning a degree to become a secondary education history teacher, your course work will include education class with a focus on history education courses. Coursework for elementary school teachers might include general education classes, along with classes in teaching mathematics, science, social studies, and other core subject classes. Elementary education majors are often required to complete a teaching practicum – a student-teaching internship at an elementary school that is supervised and evaluated by a veteran teacher. Teachers are also required to take courses in teaching methods, classroom management, and special education. It is important to note that some schools may require that you obtain a master's degree in education or a particular concentration in education to meet the needs of the school district.
After completing a teaching program, potential teaching candidates must become certified before becoming a full-time teacher. While some states may vary in certification requirement, all states mandate that public educators take the state or federal licensing exam. Potential teachers must pass exams on pedagogy, general knowledge, and sometimes knowledge of a content area. Depending on the needs of the school, candidates might also have to acquire a certification to teach in a special education classroom and/or a classroom for English Language Learners (ELL).
Elementary School Teacher Careers
Once candidates have completed their education and been certified, they can begin to change lives and inspire young students. Some teachers continue their education and specialize in a particular subject or area of education, like ELL. After gaining teaching experience, other elementary school teachers can choose to serve as mentors or supervising teachers. For example, they might work with college students in a teacher program. Experienced teachers can also transition out of the classroom and work in an administrative capacity. There are so many options for those considering a career in elementary education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary teachers are in demand all across the United States, especially in urban and rural communities. The need for teachers who have studied and specialized in mathematics, science, bilingual education, foreign languages, and special education are predicted to increase over the next five years.
To learn more about opportunities in elementary education, you should contact your school district and the department of education in your state. You also might try contacting the American Federation of Teachers, the National Council of Accreditation of Teachers, the National Center for Alternative Certification, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.