How to Become an Elementary Teacher

There is a high need for quality elementary teachers and understanding how to become an elementary teacher can put you on the right track towards shaping the young minds and futures through teaching. When children enter school, they need be surrounded by people who are committed to helping them grow their minds. The right elementary teacher can do that and so much more. If you are interested in a career in early childhood education, here is what you need to know to become an elementary school teacher.

Training and Educational Requirements for Elementary School Teachers

An elementary teacher’s training begins the moment he or she enters college and begins working on their elementary teaching degree. While many people choose to obtain a degree that will allow them to teach any subject, other people may decide that they want to specialize in order to become a special education elementary teacher, a music elementary teacher or even a physical education elementary teacher. However, every person obtaining teacher’s certification will need to start with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

How Elementary School Teachers Become Certified

In order for a person to receive an elementary teacher certification, they must complete a series of steps. The first step is to obtain their degree in elementary education. Once they’ve received the degree, they can begin seeking out opportunities as a student elementary teacher. Student teachers may shadow an elementary teacher in the classroom for a period of one year and shadow a number of different teachers, all the while working on professional development courses if required. Most student elementary teachers hold this intern position for a year. The last step in obtaining an elementary teacher certification is to take the state teaching test. Each state in the U.S. has different requirements but all require student teachers to pass the state test. The test will cover what they learned in college, any professional development courses, as well as what they encountered in the classrooms they interned in.

Desired Skills and Traits of Elementary School Teachers

An elementary teacher needs to hold certain skills that will aid him or her in career as an elementary teacher. Patience and organization are two very important key elements in an elementary teacher’s job. In addition, you should have a firm understanding of the subjects or grades you’re teaching. It’s also important to be able to multi-task and have strong communication skills. An elementary teacher must also have strong interpersonal skills in order to deal with students, other faculty, school administration and parents. Once a teacher has received their elementary teacher certification they must be able to dedicate the time to stay current on their professional development and also commit to developing their classroom curriculum.

Career Outlook for Elementary School Teachers

Those who have an elementary teaching degree and are seeking a job as an elementary teacher will be pleased to know that as an aging teacher population seeks retirement and the need for smaller classrooms continue to grow, the need for elementary teachers is growing. Good teachers are in high demand at this time and as urban sprawl continues there will continue to be a need for all certified teachers. The rate of salary for elementary school teachers varies by location, however this is a career that offers great room for advancement and mid-range earnings as well as the benefit of knowing that you are making a difference in the minds of young learners.