Education is one of the most important professions. An educator is responsible for helping the next generation grow, mature and become successful contributors to society. Without the work and dedication of teachers, no other profession could thrive. We can all think back and remember at lease one teacher who made a difference in our lives; who helped us grow, or find our way or choose our future path. If you are thinking of a career in elementary education, then you likely wish to be one of those teachers; the one who is a positive force in children’s lives, the one who helps them reach their potential and accomplish their dreams.
A career as an elementary school teacher is particularly challenging and rewarding. It will be your job to lay the foundation of all future knowledge. Your student’s success in the more advanced courses they will take in middle school and high school depend upon your ability to teach them the basics.
What classes to expect as an elementary education major:
- Pre-major education: In order to become an education major, you’ll first need to complete some prerequisite classes. These are often classes such as child psychology, developing and fostering positive relationships with children, and learning about different methods and techniques of education. Elementary school majors in particular, since they teach all subjects, may need to take some preliminary courses in several education subjects such as math, reading, art and music.
- Education for the bachelor program: Once you have been accepted and can declare elementary education as your major, then you will start the core coursework for the degree. These classes include further courses in the subjects you will teach; math, science, English, social studies, history, biology, and algebra. In addition to this, you’ll take classes relating to education in general, the psychology of education, learning styles, and teaching strategies.
Internships or student teaching:
As part of your degree program, you will be required to spend a certain number of hours as a student teacher or an intern. Here you will work in classrooms along side experienced teachers to get practical application knowledge of how to run a classroom.
Licensing and Certification:
In most areas, you will also be required to take a certification test or receive a teaching license.
Employment and career prospects:
For a position as an elementary school teacher, you’ll most likely need at least a bachelor degree. In addition, you’ll need to have served the proper hours as a student teacher and have applied and received whatever licensure or certification needed to be an educator in your state. There are, however, other career opportunities that will likely require more education or a higher level of education. For instance, if you wanted to be an elementary school teacher that specialized in special education, you’d need more education. If you have aspirations to be something other than a teacher, such as a vice-principal, principal or superintendent, you will likely need to have a graduate level degree.