An elementary school teacher is somebody trained to teach young children from kindergarten to fifth grade, focusing on fundamental skills such as reading, writing, basic math, social and emotional learning, and a few others.
While many students start learning these skills in kindergarten, there is actually no requirement for children to begin formal education until they reach the age of six.
In the US, every state requires elementary school teachers to be licensed and follow all of the educational standards before they can teach. However, licensure does not ensure a specific set of educational opportunities or guarantees the teacher’s expertise.
How To Become An Elementary School Teacher
There are several ways for an aspiring elementary school teacher to receive an educational job. They can join a local education commission. Also, the state education board will provide training and information regarding all education programs, such as teacher education courses and seminars, K-12 teacher development program, and other teacher assistance programs.
In addition to education, teachers in elementary schools also work under the supervision of a preschool teacher, commonly referred to as an assistant. This person is typically not formally trained as an elementary school teacher, but is tasked with a number of different duties, such as supervising a preschool child’s food table, helping students prepare meals, or conducting individualized instruction within the classroom.
Other responsibilities will include evaluating how students are doing in Math, Language Arts, Science, and other core classes. She may also be expected to provide students with feedback on their performance and instruct them regarding any lessons that are not thoroughly understood.
Every state requires elementary schools to have certain minimum levels of education and licensing before employees can start working. Some states also require teachers to take certain tests before being officially certified. These requirements vary from state to state, so it is best to check with your local education board to confirm what the legal requirements are in your area.
Some states require teachers to earn a master’s degree in order to qualify for the position. While this can be costly and time-consuming, earning a degree will provide you with a tremendous advantage over other prospective applicants, as more employers are requiring candidates with a higher education level to apply for high-level jobs.
Where It Begins
Many aspiring elementary school teachers begin their education by entering kindergarten, where they learn basic academic subjects such as reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Students are tested on their reading, writing, and math skills throughout the year, as well as giving periodic examinations in each subject area.
Students can earn bonuses or prizes for meeting specific grades. Graduates of kindergarten are usually placed in either the gifted or advanced/ honors classes, depending upon their progress. Students who earn this level of distinction typically continue to receive advanced notice of promotions or new teaching assignments throughout their working career.
A common route into the teaching profession is to start at an early age and work your way up from there. Some elementary school teachers began their careers as school nurses, teaching younger children and helping them with various educational needs. Others became teachers in different fields, eventually moving their education experience to more advanced levels.
Many elementary school teachers enjoy long term careers teaching elementary school students, although jobs in private education facilities and after school programs may exist as well. Some school districts contract out teaching work to outside teachers.