28 Apr How to Become a Primary School Teacher
There happen to be more than 1.5 million grade teachers imparting education to over 38 million children in USA. The average school teacher in the United States earns around $50,000 a year. Adopting a career as a primary school teacher can be economically rewarding.
Apart from the monetary gains, several primary school teachers argue that they experience valuable emotional rewards by working with children.
The requirements of becoming a primary school teacher are being discussed in this article.
Steps to Becoming a Primary School Teacher
- You need to first check the certification requirements for becoming a teacher in your own state. Laws vary from state to state. A certification issued by the state department of education in the residency state is required before a person can proceed to impart education in a school.
- You would need to study a Bachelor of Education Degree known as Bed. It is a college level degree and is a requirement imposed by all states for teacher certification. This degree happens to be divided in different steps that are focusing on the level you desire to teach. However, this may not be the only requirement. You would need to check with your state if there are any additional requirements such as additional degrees or experience before you can take up the position of a primary school teacher in your own state.
- Next step is to create your teaching portfolio. This portfolio will be functioning like a professional and a traditional portfolio. It provides the employers with your background information, educational qualifications, and work experience and how you happen to work with children.
- Start searching for open teaching positions. Your search needs to focus on the state in which you reside and your educational documents are accredited with. You may find these positions in classified newspaper ads, online, and educational career websites. You may also contact public and private schools in the area you reside.
- Start applying for teaching positions.
- Have a clean criminal record. Many states have this as a requirement.
Education and Training Required
Before you commence teaching students, you need to learn something yourself. Each and every state in America requires its primary grade teachers to at least have a bachelor’s degree. This degree must be in elementary education. You may also have your degree specialized in one particular area such as science or English. It must be kept in mind that some states have this as a requirement. Participating in the elementary education program is necessary as it provides you with the strong knowledge that is needed for teaching children. It includes different activities such as problem solving techniques, lesson plans, academic strategy, classroom communications, and classroom technologies.
Apart from education, you will also be participating in a student teaching internship program. This would be a part of your degree program. Aspiring teachers are made to teach an elementary classroom for a semester. Working under the supervision of a licensed teacher, they learn the art of teaching. They learn to take charge of teaching a lesson plan, grading the students for their work, and working in close cooperation with the students to ensure that they understand the course. These responsibilities come out to be this same which you would be dispensing once you take charge as a primary school teacher. Hence, these internship programs are essential. There would be a supervising teacher who would be evaluating your performance and reporting back to the college. You need to take this opportunity seriously and learn the most.
Certification and license
Every state has imposed a requirement that the school teachers in public schools need to be certified or licensed. These requirements are varying from state to state. However, most include the requirements of possessing a bachelor’s degree and having completed a teacher preparation program. Teaching experience that can be verified and passing of a certification exam is also a must. Majority of the states also require a clean criminal record. So those wishing to pursue their careers in this field need to possess a clean record. The license or certification needs to be constantly maintained. For this, the teachers have to keep participating in educational opportunities that keep arising through the career.
Even though you do need a degree and a license or certificate to be a teacher, this is not the complete case. You need to have certain traits and skills. Skills are needed for backing up your knowledge. Excellent communication skills are required for being able to communicate with the children. They are also required because they have to work directly with the parents and continue collaborating with the other teachers. A creative personality is a must to ensure that your lesion development plans are successful. The interest of the students needs to be captured while their imaginations need to be provided with examples all time along. Instructional skills are necessary for teaching the students new topics. An adaptive personality is also a must as you would be required to change your methods if they are currently not working. Apart from these skills, you also need to have extra ordinary amount of patience. This is because not all the students will be able to catch up with the concepts you are teaching at a fast pace. There would also be several children in your class who would be in need of special attention.
Qualities that you need to develop
Always be friendly with children
There is no use being s teacher if you cannot stand children. Start practicing being friendly with the children.
Listening skills need to be sharpened
The children don’t happen to be the clearest speakers. You need to understand what they are saying.
Always look out for the children
Children have the habit of wandering around aimlessly. You need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get into trouble.
Learn to read difficult writing
Children often have poor writing skills. They cannot write clearly. So you need to learn the skills to be able to read unclear writings.
By following the steps, completing the education and training, and developing the qualities and skills discussed in this article, you will become a successful primary school teacher.