Career In Elementary Education
A Career in Elementary Education can be exciting and rewarding!
Are you ready to begin the steps to discover if an Elementary Education Career is right for you? Read on to learn more . . .
The Steps To Starting A Career In Elementary Education
If you want to learn how to become a teacher, here are some steps you can take . . .
Test the waters!
Teaching young children is not for everyone. To find out if it’s a good fit for you, think about getting some experience. Many schools have volunteer programs or tutoring programs that can give you a taste of what it might be like.
Other ways to try out working with kids could include babysitting, working at a community center, or participating in a mentoring program like Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.
Do your homework!
Contact your state board of education to learn about the specific requirements to become an elementary school teacher. While most states have similar requirements, the requirements can vary. States can require anything from a specific degree to criminal background checks, to standardized tests. You want to make sure that you’re willing and able to meet the requirements before you move forward.
While the requirements can be different from state to state, most states do require that you have a bachelor’s degree. It is recommended that you complete an Elementary Teacher Education Program that has been accredited by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or the Teacher Education Accreditation Council.
Most elementary teachers are responsible for teaching multiple subjects. A teacher education program should prepare you with basic knowledge of everything from Math to Reading to Music and Arts. Most teacher education programs also require some form of student teaching experience. Student teaching is an unpaid, full-time classroom experience where you will be teaching and managing students under the supervision of a veteran teacher.
We can’t say this enough . . . check your state’s licensure requirements! While many states have similar requirements such as minimum education level, fingerprinting, and completion of proficiency exams, each state also has its own unique rules and processes. It could be very frustrating to think that you have taken the proper steps just to find out that your state won’t recognize your hard work.
It’s important to note that many states now offer alternative certification programs that allow people with non-education bachelor’s or master’s degrees to become licensed teachers. This grew from extreme teacher shortages especially in the areas of Math and Science. Typically, alternative certification programs require applicants to complete some teacher education courses along with other licensing requirements. Check with your state to see if this is an option for you.
Get a job!
can be important when looking for the right elementary teacher position. The student teaching experience is an excellent opportunity to start networking. Many school districts also offer job fairs to attract potential new teachers. Check with your local board of education to see what is available in your area.
If you’re not able to find anything in the public school system, you may want to contact local private schools for available positions. Substitute teaching can also be a good way to get your foot in the door. Lastly, make sure your have a portfolio showcasing your credentials and experience. Most hiring Principals will want a taste of what you can do.
In most areas of the country, more education equals a higher salary. Having a master’s or doctoral degree will also give you the opportunity to explore other education-related positions such as curriculum developer, reading specialist, or administrator.
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If a Career In Elementary Education isn't a good fit, you may want to consider one of these other Education Careers . . .
Other Education Careers
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