January 21, 2018

Becoming an Elementary School Teacher

Are you wondering how to become an elementary school teacher? Do you envision yourself setting up your classroom with bright primary colors and educational posters? Do you love the thought of story hour, helping children learn to read and teaching the fundamentals of mathematics? If so, you’ll want to look into what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.

Before You Start Your Education

Before you dive into this educational pursuit, you’ll want to make sure you really do well with children. Make sure you’ve spent a good amount of time with children who are elementary school age. Ask friends and relatives if you can babysit, or volunteer in a Big Sister/Big Brother program or at a church or school. Spend time with kids in groups so you can see firsthand the challenge of directing an entire classroom of children. It’s essential to make sure you really do have the knack for dealing with kids of this age group before you commit to a career like this.

Choose A Teaching Degree Program

After you’ve graduated high school, you’ll need to get (at minimum) your bachelor’s degree in education. It is possible to teach without this, but a teaching degree will prepare you much better than any other kind of degree, and you’ll find better jobs (and more jobs) if you have an actual degree in education. This is usually a four-year degree, gotten from either an online college or a four-year college or university. You can go on to get your master’s degree in education if you wish to apply for higher level jobs or if your region requires a master’s degree for you to teach.

Intern as a Student Teacher

After you finish your coursework, you will need to work as a student teacher for a while. Most programs will have you do this for between 4-6 months, although some schools may hire you to student teach for an entire school year.

Student teaching is essential because it gives you valuable classroom experience under the supervision of a seasoned teacher. While student teaching, ask as many questions as possible so you can learn the tricks of the trade. Teaching is not as easy as it looks, and you will ask about record keeping, creating lesson plans, classroom discipline and how to challenge advanced students.

Fulfill Any Local Teacher Certification Requirements

After you’ve finished your student teaching and course work, you will need to look into local requirements. You may need to take tests to get your teacher certification. If you will be moving to another area, you will need to see if there is anything specific you need to do to get certified in both states.

Apply For Jobs as an Elementary School Teacher

Once you are a certified teacher, with student teaching experience under your belt, you can start applying for jobs! You will want to check teacher salaries to see which schools pay better. You’ll also want to check school reputations, since student populations vary considerably from school to school, even in the same metro area.

Now that you know how to become an elementary school teacher, you can pursue your teaching career with confidence!


The Top 5 Non-School Teacher Career Options

Are you looking for teacher career options that don’t take place in a school? Did you get your degree in education, but now have discovered you don’t like working in the school environment. You’re in luck! There are plenty of non-school teacher career options open for you.

Don’t feel bad if you decide you aren’t cut out for teaching. Many people think it’s easy to teach, but teachers have to deal with:

  • Critical or uninvolved parents
  • Disruptive students
  • Early mornings
  • Long workdays that often extend into late nights

If you have decided you are not willing to stay up late returning parent emails and grading papers, you’re not alone. Check out the following popular non-school teacher career options.

1. Private Tutor

If you become a tutor, you’ll get to work one-on-one with students. You’ll make good money per hour (especially if you have a literacy specialist degree or are particularly good at math.) You will get to choose your hours, decide if you want to work from home, in other people’s homes, in a student support center or at a neutral location.

As a private tutor, you will get the joy of helping students learn without the stress of managing the classroom, writing lesson plans and dealing with school politics. You will have to work a lot of late afternoons, evenings, weekends and summers, but you will have your mornings free to sleep in or take care of personal obligations.

2. Corporate Trainer

If you work as a corporate trainer, you will get to train in employees on a variety of software, processes or company standards. You will report to Human Resources and get to work in either a classroom setting or online through webinars and online coursework.

3. Online Professor

If you want to teach but don’t want to be in the classroom dealing with real people anymore, you can work as an online professor. You’ll find the job is significantly less stressful since your interactions with students will be completely online.

4. Curriculum Writer

If you like writing lesson plans but hate managing a classroom, this is a perfect job for you. Curriculum writers usually get to work from home or alone in a cubicle, coming up with fascinating curriculum, fun activities and new ways to communicate information. You’ll get to imagine what it’s like to teach in the classroom instead of having to really do it.

5. Online Trainer

If you want to get out of the education field altogether, you might want to approach a niche company about performing online education for them. You may get hired by a company who wants to teach the public about addictions or offer free classes on trading stocks in order to entice people to buy their products. These jobs require you to write educational material (and possibly present it through webinars and webcasts), but you won’t be thrust into the classroom setting again.

Non School Teacher Career Options

Don’t worry if you’ve decided the classroom is not right for you. You’ll discover there are plenty of non school teacher career options, each worthy of exploration.

Degree Options in Early Childhood Education

If you’re thinking about an early childhood education degree, you’ll want to look into your degree options to make sure you prepare yourself for the job you desire to have when you graduate. An early childhood education degree will equip you to work with young children, including toddlers, preschoolers and young elementary school children.

What Early Childhood Education Degree Will Best Suit Your Purposes?

If you’re interested in working at a preschool as a head teacher, you’ll only need an associate’s degree. You can get an associate’s degree at most community colleges, online colleges, universities or colleges. This is a two-year degree focused on child development and working with young children.

However, if you want to work with preschoolers or young elementary school children as a speech therapist, early childhood education specialist, social worker or therapist, you will need at least a four-year degree in early childhood education, with a focus on whatever area you wish to specialize in. You may need a master’s degree if you wish to work in a literacy specialist or therapist role.

You’ll need to identify exactly which role you’d like to play in the early childhood education arena. Do you want to work at a therapy center, preschool or elementary school? Do you want to teach a class or perform individual therapy sessions? Do you want to work with small groups of children who need to be pulled out of the classroom for help with motor skills, study skills, speech or specific academic goals?

How to Choose the Right Early Childhood Education Degree Program

Before settling on a degree program, look into the curriculum. Will the program offer classes that specialize in the skills you will need to learn in order to perform your desired job? For example, if you want to be a preschool teacher at a high end preschool, you will need classes that teach lesson planning so you will learn how to improve fine motor skills, large motor skills, emotional development, recognition of shapes, colors, numbers and letters, etc. If you want to work with high risk preschoolers in a therapy center, you will need a different set of skills and will need classes that focus on how to help children with greater needs.

Choose the Degree That Will Get You a Job

Before you decide on a degree option, make sure there are plenty of jobs available in your area of choice. You may wish to go on several informational interviews at places of employment near you to find out what kinds of jobs are often in demand. Find out what kind of salary, schedule and responsibilities are expected of their employees. This will help you determine what age group you want to work with and in what capacity and setting.

Once you’ve decided upon a specific career in early childhood education, you’ll want to review college programs. Compare curriculums. Don’t be afraid to contact the college career counselors for advice—that’s what they are there for. If you ask enough questions, you’ll discover which degree option is best for you.


Earning a Degree in Elementary Education

Are you thinking about a degree in elementary education? Are you interested in becoming a teacher, but still have questions about what you’ll learn in college?

Some people say you don’t need a degree in elementary education to get a teaching job. They may be right – many people who have bachelor’s degrees in other subjects do get hired as teachers. However, most schools stipulate that you must either get your master’s in education, a teaching certificate or some sort of education degree soon after employment. All elementary schools prefer to hire people with actual degrees in elementary education.

Why Should You Earn a Degree in Elementary Education Before Starting Work as a Teacher?

A degree in elementary education is more than a piece of paper or a line on your resume. You will learn many valuable things in college, including how to work with parents, how to teach to different levels of ability, how to handle classroom disruptions and behavioral problems and how to create effective lesson plans.  You will also learn

Working With Parents

Believe it or not, many teachers say this is the area they dread the most about teaching. If you don’t learn what to expect and how to handle parents, you won’t be able to focus on teaching your class what they need to learn. Your professors will teach you all about how to handle parents who are clingy, overbearing, accusatory, uninvolved or critical. This is an important piece of teaching, since it’s hard to focus on the lesson plan when you’re dwelling on that nasty interaction you had with one of your student’s parents.

Teaching to Differentiated Levels of Ability

What do you do when you’ve got three geniuses, twenty average kids, two ESL kids, four ADHD kids and two challenged students all in one classroom? You learn how to write tiered lesson plans, that’s what you do. It sounds simple, but it’s not as easy as you may think. No, it’s not acceptable to just give the smart kids extra worksheets and the challenged kids fewer assignments – you will need to learn how to tailor both your lesson plan and your classroom focus to your unique student population.

Handling Classroom Disruptions

You might think you’ve got the “stern-don’t-mess-with-me” look down, but some students will defy all discipline techniques you’ve learned thus far. You will want to get tips from professors as how to control the classroom while still keeping a positive attitude (and following school rules.)

Creating Effective Lesson Plans

You’re going to have a lot of new material coming at you when you start your job as an elementary school teacher. That means you need to learn how to create great lessons plans so you can be as prepared as possible for class. It’s not acceptable to make stuff up on the fly – the principal of your school will be checking your lesson plans to make sure you’ve planned ahead and are incorporating all of the required curriculum in your lessons. It’s best to learn from a pro before you walk into the classroom.

Why You Need a Degree in Elementary Education

It’s important to be properly prepared for the classroom before you begin that first day on the job. When you earn a degree in elementary education, you’ll learn the skills mentioned here, and many more.

Choosing a Degree in Secondary Education

If you are pursuing a degree in secondary education, you will want to determine exactly what you want to teach. Unlike elementary education, where you can get a general teaching degree and then teach all subjects, secondary school teachers must specialize in at least one subject. You will be teaching older children (sixth grade or older), so you will have to become somewhat of a subject specialist before you can teach.

The Basics of Getting a Degree in Secondary Education

If you want to teach high school or middle school, you’ll need to get a bachelor’s of education with a minor in whatever it is you wish to specialize in. It’s not a bad idea to double major in education and your subject of choice – this will give you an edge over the competition. Most people who double major graduate from college in five years instead of four years, but you can do it in four and a half years if you take summer classes.

What Degree in Secondary Education Will Be Best For You?

When choosing a subject to specialize in, you need to keep your end goal in mind. For example, do you want to teach biology? Then you may wish to double major in education and biology, but you also may want to minor in another science, such as earth sciences, chemistry or physics. Why? Most schools are too small to hire a full time biology teacher. They will expect you to be a general sciences teacher, able to teach a range of science classes.

Let’s say you want to teach physical education. You’ll want to double major in education and physical education, but you’ll probably want to minor in health sciences. Most physical education teachers are required to teach health classes in addition to gym class.

Choose the Degree That Will Get You a Job

You’ll also want to take into consideration which jobs are in demand in your area. For example, there are usually an overabundance of art teachers, but math and science teachers seem to always be in demand.

What are the local middle schools and high schools looking for? There are a few ways to find out. You can check online advertisements for teaching positions, but you won’t get the full picture that way. The best way to check out availability is to schedule informational interviews with principals of teachers in the schools near you and ask what they subject specialists they are looking for.

When you meet with the principal, you’ll want to accomplish two things. Most importantly, you want to establish a relationship with the principal and express a desire to student teach and/or work at the school at some time in the future. This will help you get a job after you graduate. Then you will also want to explain that you understand teacher demand fluctuates each year, but you’d like to know what kinds of teachers they see shortages of. You’ll gain valuable information that may affect what you choose as your specialty, plus you’ll get a foot in the door in several schools.

Ashford University Teaching Degree

When you are trying to decide which college to attend for your teaching degree, you have to consider many different aspects. Do you want to attend college part time or full time? Are you looking for a traditional university experience or are you interested in an online degree program? If you are seeking a degree through an online program, one college to keep in mind is Ashford University for your teaching degree. At Ashford University, there are associates, bachelors and master’s teaching degree programs that a future educator can choose from. We will discuss the different degree program options, the cost of education and some examples of jobs you can get with those degrees.

Undergraduate Teaching Degree Programs

Ashford University offers both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree for teachers. You can earn an associate’s in Early Childhood Education. This degree can help be a stepping stone to work towards a bachelor’s degree, but you can also find employment as a daycare or preschool teacher with your associate’s degree.

In addition to an associate’s degree, Ashford University also has numerous bachelor’s degree programs for education. Their online bachelor’s degree programs cover many different specialties, including child development, public policy and instructional design.

Ashford University also offers three bachelor’s degree programs that can be completed on campus in Clinton, Iowa. These programs include business education, physical education and elementary education degrees.

Most teaching positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in order to obtain a job. With a bachelor’s degree from Ashford University, you can teach in elementary schools and secondary schools. The English language learner studies program is useful for those who are interested in teaching students English who do not speak it as their native language. These bachelor’s degrees from Ashford are also useful to lead up to earning a master’s degree as well.

Graduate Degree Teaching Programs

If you might be interested in earning a graduate degree in education, Ashford University offers two master’s degree programs for teachers. A teacher can earn a Master of Arts in Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology degree. Teachers do not have much spare time to attend graduate college courses on campus, so attending graduate school online can help them earn the degree to help them advance their career.

Recently, many state education departments have decided to require teachers to earn a master’s degree. Most of the states that require a master’s degree in education ask that teachers earn one within a predetermined number of years after they begin teaching. A master’s degree not only gives you a deeper understanding about teaching theories and techniques, it also allows a teacher to earn a higher salary. In addition, many principals and school administrators desire to hire teachers who already possess a master’s degree.

Ashford University Teaching Degree Details

At Ashford University, the course fees are $402.00 per credit hour for both undergraduate and graduate classes. If you decide you would like to know more, it is recommended that you speak with an admissions counselor at Ashford to discuss your education plan and find out more details on how to apply for admission to the college.


Using Your ESL Teaching Degree

Have you thought about getting an ESL teaching degree? If you like the idea of working with students who do not speak English as their native language, you will be thrilled to know ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers are in high demand.

Jobs That Require an ESL Teaching Degree

If you get your ESL teaching degree, you will find you have opportunities to work one on one with students outside of class, teach entire classrooms of young children, work with adults who need assistance or even travel overseas to teach English in foreign countries. Churches, schools and social service agencies will all be interested in hiring you, since they often provide English classes. These are significantly different teaching environments, so you will open yourself up to many varied opportunities.

Many ESL teaching positions are open for night classes or even for weekends at social centers, community colleges or churches. You will also find positions in traditional school environments.

Qualities required of an ESL Teacher

If you wish to work as an ESL teacher, you will need to be an exceptionally patient, positive and clear person.

You will need to be patient because your students will often have a hard time following you or understanding the material you are presenting. Not only will you teach people who speak a different language, you will also encounter situations where people have undergone significant stress (refugees, immigrants) or students of varying intelligence. You may have an entire class of Latinos, or you might have a mixed class where you are teaching people from all over the world, all in one class. This requires significant patience.

You will also need to be positive because teaching ESL can be quite challenging, especially if you are teaching adults. Many adults who take ESL classes have a difficult time grasping the new language and may need repetition and individual attention. They may also be coping with difficult family, financial and cultural issues.

You will need to be a clear teacher with excellent verbal and written communication skills. This is because you will not be able to assume your class can understand you. In many cases, your students will not even be able to understand basic commands, even when delivered with absolute clarity. If you have any sort of speech impediment or tendencies to slur, or if you’ve ever received feedback that your lessons are not easy to follow, you will need help overcoming these issues before you pursue an ESL teaching position.

Using Your ESL Teaching Degree

Once you get your degree, you’ll get to explore the many different opportunities to teach English to non-native English speakers. There are many different levels of ESL classes to teach, and many different teaching environments. Some teachers find they enjoy tutoring individuals more than teaching large classes; still others find the challenge of traveling to a foreign country and teaching in a new environment to be most exciting.

Whatever you choose, you can be sure there are plenty of job opportunities for those who have an ESL teaching degree!



Earning a Master’s Degree in Education

Are you thinking about going to school to earn a master’s degree in education? Do you have a degree in something else and are now wishing you’d majored in education? Are you tired of your current career and want to start in on a second career in the education field? Or perhaps you’ve heard it’s best to go ahead and get a master’s degree right off the bat. In any case, a master’s degree in education is a very useful degree to have, especially if you want to teach in a classroom environment.

Choosing a Master’s Degree in Education to Jump Start a Second Career

Many people get a degree in a subject, work for years at a job, and then decide they’d rather do something else. Perhaps you majored in psychology, have been working as a case manager or case support technician for the past ten years, and now have decided you want to teach instead. You can now get your master’s degree in education and make that switch. In most cases, you won’t even have to take undergraduate education classes. The master’s program will cover everything you need.

Pursuing Your Master’s Degree in Education While Teaching

Maybe you only have an undergraduate degree, but you’ve been lucky enough to get hired on as a teacher. Now you need to get your master’s degree and teaching certificate, but you have to juggle work with school. If you have a family and other obligations, you’ve got a lot on your plate, especially as a new teacher. Those first few years are especially challenging because you’ve got to write brand new lesson plans, keep up with homework and paperwork, and get to know the school system.

This is where online college classes are particularly useful. If you take your classes online, you’ll have more flexibility and save on commuter time. Many online master’s programs are more streamlined and sleek than the traditional programs, so they offer an additional advantage. If you don’t feel comfortable with an online program, you may wish to look into night school at a local college or university.

Getting Your Master’s Degree In Education Right Off the Bat

If you’ve got an undergraduate degree in education, you will be received with more respect if you wait until you have your master’s degree before you start working as a teacher. While many school systems do indeed hire teachers with only an undergraduate degree, the teachers who have master’s degrees get better pay, better assignments and more opportunities for advancement.

The Advantage of the Master’s Degree in Education

If you get your master’s degree, you will also qualify for a lot of post secondary teaching positions and for jobs at exclusive private schools such as prep schools. Employers will take you more seriously than your competitors who may only have an undergraduate degree (some of whom will have a degree in something other than education.) Whatever way you slice it, having a master’s degree in education gives you an undeniable advantage.

American Intercontinental University Online Degree Options

At American Intercontinental University, they offer master of education degrees online for teachers seeking to earn a graduate degree. The master’s degrees at AIU help teachers pursue their interests in the field of education that will best fit their teaching goals.

As a teacher, continuing education is crucial to retaining your employment and learning about new types of teaching methods, theories and tools to utilize in the classroom. If you are currently an educator who is looking to earn a master’s degree in an area of education, American Intercontinental University offers five graduate programs. All of the master’s degrees for education are offered to complete online. We will talk about these online degree programs, their benefits and the importance of a master’s degree for a teacher.

A teacher can earn the following education master’s degrees at AIU:

  1. Master of Education: Educational Assessment and Evaluation
  2. Master of Education: Leadership of Educational Organizations
  3. Master of Education: Adult Education and Training
  4. Master of Education: Classroom Integration of Technology
  5. Master of Education: Instructional Design and Technology

Meet with a mentor or a career counselor to discuss which degree program option might be the best fit for your individual career goals.

Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree at American Intercontinental University

Depending on what state you teach in, you may be required to earn a master’s degree, but even if you aren’t there are many benefits to earning a master’s degree. There are countless draws to pursuing your degree online as well.

Benefits of earning a master’s degree in education:

  1. Increase your employability with a master’s degree.
  2. More educators are interested in someone with a graduate education degree than someone without one.
  3. Teachers earn higher salaries with a master’s degree.
  4. Teachers with a master’s degree earn around 10 percent more than a teacher who has a bachelor’s degree with the same amount of teaching experience
  5. Learn the latest teaching methods, ways to use technology and develop your knowledge about the way children learn
  6. With technology and changing methods for teaching, it is a great idea to keep current with the latest trends to help you in the classroom.

Benefits of earning a master’s degree online:

  1. More convenient classes
  2. Complete course work at your own pace to fit into your schedule
  3. Graduate classes online cost less per credit hour than taking classes on-campus (American Intercontinental University tuition for an online master’s degree in education is $442 per credit hour
  4. You can save time with no commuting or time spent in class, which means you can spend more time with friends and family and have more time to work on lesson plans and teaching related duties

Earning your master’s degree offers teachers a way to move up in their career both with the salary increase and the growth of knowledge they obtain from the courses they will take. At American Intercontinental University, the master’s degrees in education earned online are a wonderful asset for teachers to have for years to come.

How to Choose the Right Teaching Degree Program

Are you struggling to decide which teaching degree program is right for you? If you’ve determined you want to become a teacher, you’ll want to evaluate the following aspects of the many teaching degree programs out there. We’ve provided questions to ask yourself that will help you make this decision.

How Much Will This Teaching Degree Program Cost Me?

Perhaps one of the most important things to evaluate is your budget. How much money can you afford to spend? What kind of financial aid is available? Do you qualify for any grants or scholarships? On campus jobs? Paid teacher or teacher assistant jobs that can help you build experience and make money while in school? Make sure you outline a budget, including room and board, books, tuition and other expenses so you know what you need to succeed.

How Long Will it Take Me to Finish This Teaching Degree Program?

How soon do you need your teaching degree? Do you need to go to school part time, or do you need to pursue a full time program? Some colleges offer concentrated programs that you can finish in a matter of months, while others stretch out for years.

Will This Teaching Degree Program Fit Into My Life Schedule?

Can you attend daytime classes in person, or do you need to go to night school? Do you need the flexibility offered by online classes? Would you prefer classes where you can work ahead and complete assignments on your own schedule? (Many online courses offer this option.)

Will This Program Prepare Me for the Position I Want When I Graduate?

You’ll want to identify exactly what kind of position and work environment you wish to have after graduation. What level of student do you wish to instruct? What type of educational environment are you envisioning?

Would you rather specialize in a subject, such as literacy or special education or speech therapy? Do you intend to advance to an administrative position such as principal, curriculum planner or superintendent?

Or would you rather work in an alternative education position, teaching online or working for the Human Resources department of a corporation, educating employees?

Once you know what you want to do, you can examine teaching degree program descriptions to determine which program will best prepare you for your specific career path. As you compare programs, ask to see the curriculum so you can get an idea of how in-depth the program goes. For example, if you want to become an elementary school teacher, does the program address child development and how to teach for each age and level of maturity? Does the program teach class management skills? Tiered lesson planning (to accommodate special needs and advanced children alike)?

Let’s say you want to be a college professor. Does the program set you up for specialization and advanced degree work? Is there a track for teaching adults? Will the program address teaching students who may exceed your potential and require additional challenges?

Choosing a Teaching Degree Program Summary

Not all teaching programs are the same, and not all deliver the same education. Don’t just sign up for the first program you find. Evaluate your options and choose the teaching degree program that best suits your needs.

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