December 12, 2017

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!

 

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