Certification in elementary education (associates, bachelors, or master's degree) is usually mandatory for teachers who want to work with kindergarten through middle school students. Because younger students often have very specific needs, it is important that you receive the necessary training to address their learning styles, behavioral requirements, and emotional necessities.
The core of your training focuses on preparatory coursework ranging from curriculum development to teaching methods to educational philosophy. Thereafter, you might focus on the various disciplines and subjects taught within homeroom settings. Educational requirements vary from State to State, but social science, physical science, English, literature, mathematics, art, music, and history represent some of the more popular areas of study; however, basic computer science and elementary IT are becoming more important as newer technologies receive wider acceptance within the classroom. Because different students often follow different learning methods, your ability to connect with them (using any variety of media) can be vital to the process.
Becoming an elementary school educator is the most common choice for those graduating with a degree in this field. However, with each successive year of training that you receive; the available career paths increase. Becoming a guidance counselor, school administrator, early childhood psychologist, or curriculum researcher are all potential options depending on your degree and coursework. If working with children is important to you but you're not quite sure what aspect of education appeals to you the most, you might consider enrolling in a master's or doctorate program. Doing so will provide you with a lot of opportunities once you graduate.
An elementary education certification is required of anyone who wishes to teach in a public school system. Individuals who teach at the elementary level usually teach all subjects at that grade level. A degree in elementary education requires a background in several core subject areas, which are usually covered during the first two years of a college education. Teaching in an elementary situation requires a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Given today's demand for highly qualified teaching professionals, many pursue a Master's degree in the field before applying for jobs. Coursework covers fundamentals of classroom psychology, curriculum development, communications skills, and evaluation and assessment of students.
For those who want to have a direct positive impact on the future of children, earning a degree in elementary education can lead to a rewarding and challenging career. The education a child receives in their early years can have a dramatic effect on a child's success in school and career later in life. Earning a degree in elementary education will prepare students to make a difference in the lives of many children.
Jobs for elementary school teachers are predicted to be readily available as large numbers of teachers retire over the next decade. Urban and rural areas will continue to have the greatest demand for elementary school teachers.
Associate's Degree - These programs prepare a student to be a teacher's aide and/or to continue on to earn their bachelor's degree in education.
Bachelor's Degree – This degree enables students to become a licensed elementary education teacher in public schools or to teach in private schools.
Master's Degree – Some of these programs are designed for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another subject area while other programs are geared for those who have a teaching degree but want to advance their knowledge.
Elementary education degrees can be obtained at traditional universities and colleges as well as at the growing number of online schools that offer educational degree programs. Many programs can be attended on a part-time basis.
Students who pursue a degree in elementary education should have a strong desire to have a positive impact on children and their education. They need to be patient, organized, flexible, creative, and have a good sense of humor. Those with steady, calm dispositions, who can keep their emotions under wraps regardless of the situation, are well-suited to this profession.
The majority of students who graduate with a degree in Elementary Education will become Elementary School Teachers or Teacher Assistants in public schools. Some will teach in private schools or continue on with their education to earn a Master's degree. Those who earn a Master's degree may choose to pursue a job as a school administrator or a curriculum specialist, also known as an instructional coordinator.