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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 responsibilities: 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 for this career can vary. Most states require at least a bachelor's degree in education and at least a semester's worth of student teaching. It is important to be well-educated in order to understand aspects of teaching such as lesson planning in the major subject areas, working with special-needs students, and understanding the psychological development and intrinsic needs of children. 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. Your state's department of education and your teaching education school should both have more details for you if you ask.

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 also have the option to teach summer school. You should also have federal holidays off, as well as the winter and spring breaks established by your school district.

Check through the list of schools below to learn more about the elementary education programs you could potentially pursue.

Sources:

  1. 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

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M.Ed. in Elementary Education (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
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MA in Teaching - Elementary Education
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies

Online Learning at Concordia University-Portland

If education is your passion, Concordia University-Portland is your university. One of the most respected names in learning today, Concordia offers several fully online Master of Education (MEd) programs—most of which can completed in one year—and a fully online Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Our graduates stand out with the skills, integrity, and compassion  necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of students today. Together, we're all making an impact in education.

 

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General Education - Doctor of Education
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
  • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
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MS - Instruction in the 1:1 Environment
  • Online MEd, MS, EdD, EdS, and PhD options in K-12, higher education, and education technology.
  • Specializations in early childhood education, K-12 studies in education, educational leadership and management, curriculum and instruction, leadership in educational administration, and more.
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