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Elementary School Teacher

Elementary School Teacher Responsibilities

Some people may have an inborn ability to teach in a logical and patient way, but, given this, they still need to pursue postsecondary training and be able to meet the requirements within their state to obtain a license and teach as an elementary school teacher. Teachers at the K-8 level need to be versatile, but they also need to be skilled in teaching a number of content areas, such as reading and writing, math, science and social studies. They need to be able to motivate students to learn, manage behavior in their classrooms and assess student progress to ensure students are on track.

An elementary school teacher may have many other responsbilities: communicating with parents, challenging the quick learners and helping slower ones, making lesson plans, grading student work, and planning with fellow teachers and staff. Grading assignments at night or on weekends, and participating in special after-hour events may also be part of the job.

How You Could Become an Elementary School Teacher

State teaching requirements do vary. Most require at least a bachelor's degree in education and a semester-long experience student teaching. Classes could focus on lesson planning in the major subject areas, as well as working with special-needs students, and understanding the psychological development and intrinsic needs of children. Often, the student teaching component can help to provide the teacher with that extra understanding that can be a benefit teaching in the classroom. Students may also need to complete other requirements to be able to apply for and obtain a state teaching license. A background check may also be necessary. Some teacher education programs are now available online or partially online, but an in-person presence is still necessitated for student teaching.

Private schools sometimes require only a bachelor's degree in education but no certificate, but all states require a license to be able to teach in a public school. After a student has received a bachelor's degree and their license, they may need to work on completing a master's degree -- these requirements vary by state. The state department of education and/or your teaching education school should be able to provide you with more details.

Career Earnings :

An elementary school teacher's salary, according to 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, ranges from less than $31,720 to more than $76,490. The median annual wage was $51,660. The cost of living and economic health of a school district affect wages, as do your years of experience and advanced degrees. BLS statistics say projected job growth from 2010 to 2020 is 17 percent −about the average for all occupations.

As a teacher, you may have a 10-month school year and a 2-month break, or a year-round schedule with multiple breaks. You may opt to teach summer school. You should also have off federal holidays as well as the winter and spring breaks established by school districts. Whatever your schedule or compensation, the intangible rewards of teaching may be the motivating compensation for an elementary school teacher. Check through the list of schools below to learn more about the elementary education programs you could potentially pursue.

Sources:

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 Edition), http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-1

Teaching Schools

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Undergraduate in Early Childhood
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Elementary Education
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Early Childhood Education - EdS
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Early Childhood Education - Associate in Specialized Business
  • Committed to excellence in post-secondary education since 1982, with a rich history of helping students find successful careers.
  • Located in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, the main campus spans 63,500 square feet.
  • Offers programs in business, design, criminal justice, and more.
  • Gives several benefits to alumni including national discounts and career services.
  • Part of the Delta Career Education Corporation.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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Early Childhood Education (M.Ed.)
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Challenging students to live extraordinary lives of personal and professional fulfillment since 1878.
  • Offers programs in business, communication, education, humanities, fine arts, health sciences, and graduate studies.
  • Provides on-campus housing options and study abroad programs for students.
  • Campus features several academic centers for students, including The Writing Center and the Study Place for Achievement (SPA).
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits