January 21, 2018

What it Takes to Earn an Elementary Education Degree

It is crucial to educate yourself on what it takes both personality-wise and education-wise to earn an elementary education degree. Education degrees may require even more research than some because of the licensing requirements a teacher must have before they can become a certified teacher in that state. In addition to education requirements, a teacher needs to possess a certain personality and temperament to be able to work well with students to promote successful learning.

Earning Your Elementary Education Degree and Becoming a Teacher

The first step in becoming a teacher is to earn your bachelor’s degree. An elementary education degree is needed to teach anything from preschool to fifth grade. If you aren’t sure what age group you would like to work with, ask a former teacher or the closest school district if you would be able to shadow a teacher from each age group to observe what goes on day to day in those classrooms.

Either right before or after graduation, prospective teachers need to take the appropriate teacher certification exams. These are tests such as the Praxis Series, TExES series tests or Pearson exams. Teacher certification exams test teachers on teaching theories, educational psychology and specifics about their content area. Requirements vary from state to state, so check with the education department in the state where you are going to teach to determine which exams are required for you to pass and what the passing scores are for that state.

Once you pass your exams, you can apply for your teaching license. Most states require fingerprinting and background checks before you get hired as well. Your transcripts from college, your teacher certification exam scores, an application for licensure and a fee for your application will need to be sent in to the state department of education.

Helpful Personality Traits for Teachers

Teaching is a special career in that you work day in and day out interacting with students, parents, fellow teachers and administrators. Most jobs only require employees to work with adults, but as a teacher you must have a knack for working with all age groups. An elementary teacher must have lots of patience working with young children so they know you are a person they can trust with both their academic concerns and emotional issues.

Teachers also need to have the ability to educate.  That may sound funny and redundant, but it is absolutely necessary that a teacher actually know how to effectively teach. This means you must have the knowledge of the teaching material and know how to deliver lessons to maximize the learning in your classroom. Making it fun, exciting and educational can be a challenge.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Getting an Elementary Education Degree?

If you are interested in pursuing your education degree, check with the school you are interested in to make sure the program is accredited. Some schools also have GPA requirements to enter the school of education as well. Online education degrees are wonderful options as well, but you also need to check to be sure they are legitimate. Kaplan University, Northcentral University and University of Phoenix all offer education degree programs (including elementary education degrees) that are accredited online programs for educators. Choose the right school and the best field of education that works best for you.

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