Do you enjoy teaching and interacting with children? Are you an organized individual who plans ahead and can change your plan at a moment’s notice? Do you feel that you have what it takes to work with a group of students who have varying abilities? If you said yes to each of these questions, then you should definitely consider pursuing a career as an elementary education teacher. Not only will you be responsible for the academic well-being of your students, you will also need to provide them with social skills, life skills, and at times, care for your students like they are your own children.
You will be responsible for planning creative and effective lessons for the subject areas that you teach, assessing and evaluating your students’ understanding of specific topics and concepts, and re-teaching topics as necessary. While a bachelor’s degree is necessary for you to be qualified to teach, the specific requirements for your licensure vary slightly from one state to another. It is important to note that lower elementary teachers are typically required to teach all subject areas, upper elementary teachers may have the option to only teach a few subject areas and their students will switch classes.
In order to be qualified to work as an elementary education teacher you will need to obtain your bachelor’s degree. As you begin your degree program you will need to complete general education courses and then move on to classes that are directly related to the subject areas you will be teaching. Your content area classes will prepare you to teach elementary science, social studies, language arts, mathematics, music, and art. You will also be required to take classes related to pedagogy, which will teach you the techniques and the methods that you will use on a daily basis to deliver effective instruction to your students.
Although specific curriculum will vary some from one college to another, you should also expect to be required to complete classes that will teach you about different forms of assessments that you can use and different disabilities that may require you to alter your teaching methods. In addition, before you will be able to graduate you must complete a semester of student teaching. This will allow you to work in a real school setting under the direct supervision of a mentoring, experienced teacher. Take a few minutes and check out any of the schools that are shown on this site. If you see any that particularly appeal to you, feel free to request that they send you a complimentary information packet.
By furthering your education you can also pursue careers as literacy or math specialists or in an administrative capacity.