Do You Want to Be an Elementary School Teacher? Five Questions to Ask Yourself.
If you’re planning to become a teacher of young children, ask yourself these questions to see if teaching is really for you.
The life of a teacher can seem incredibly attractive, but the demands that come with students, parents, administrators, and paperwork can also make it stressful. According to Matthew Lynch, a teacher turned education entrepreneur, “Before you decide to become an educator, make sure that it is your purpose, meaning you have the passion, skills, and dispositions that it takes to manage the rigors of the education field.”1 Asking yourself these five questions can help you discover if the life of an elementary school teacher is really for you.
- Do You Enjoy Being Around and Helping Kids?
Some people love kids, while others are happier dealing mainly with adults. A passion for improving the lives of children is what keeps successful teachers going year after year. Teachers also need to be creative, engaging, and energetic. That said, if you find it easy to relate to kids and have patience, then a career as an elementary school teacher might just be for you.2
- Do You Want to Make a Difference in Others’ Lives?
Teaching may not get the recognition or prestige of some other professions, but teaching at the elementary level is the foundation for everything—because having a strong grasp of the basics is what enables children to understand more advanced concepts. Teachers of young children have the huge responsibility of shaping young minds. An excellent or poor teacher can make or break a child’s love of school. So, you must have this passion for helping kids learn as well as the patience and resourcefulness to devise other ways to help them understand,2 as everyone learns differently.
- Do You Love to Learn and Help Others Learn?
Having flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing situations is a must for prospective teachers. And while teaching does become easier with experience, that’s not to say that teachers should rest on their laurels and keep doing things the same way year after year. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In order to help others learn, you must also continually learn and improve your own practice.3
- Do You See Yourself as a Leader?
As a classroom teacher, you’ll be in charge of anywhere from 15 kids (in a small private school) to 35 (in a crowded public school). According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average size of a self-contained elementary school classroom is 21 students.4 During this time, you’re responsible for guiding your students—having them look to you as a leader, helping them understand concepts they find difficult, and, of course, dealing with and solving behavioral issues. Although teachers do not have the freedom to determine what to teach, as they work from a set curriculum, they can determine how to relay that information so kids can effectively grasp it.
- Do You Get Along Well With Other People?
Even though teachers engage with children for hours each day, they are also expected to work with a variety of adults on a regular basis—including colleagues, administrators, and parents. Teaching is really all about relationships: If you establish a rapport with your students, their parents, and your colleagues, your job is likely to become easier.
Fulfill Your Dream of Becoming an Elementary School Teacher With a BSEE From Walden University
Whether you’re embarking on your first career or transitioning from another, Walden University’s BS in Elementary Education (BSEE) program can help prepare you to obtain a professional teaching license and/or certification in order to teach in public and private schools.
Through Walden’s online BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) program, you’ll benefit from a comprehensive curriculum designed to help build your instructional and curriculum design skills. Learn how to incorporate technology to enhance and improve learning outcomes and how to use data to evaluate student growth. Put these skills into practice through Walden’s valuable interactive virtual teaching simulations.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences is accredited based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards through June 2026. This accreditation covers specific Walden initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs, including the BS in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) – Special Education specialization, MS in Education – Educational Leadership and Administration specialization, and EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration. The MAT-SPED, MSED-ELA, and EdS-ELA programs were reviewed by Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs), which define content-area standards for programs, and achieved national recognition.
CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Walden’s College of Education and Human Sciences has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement. CAEP is a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – recognized national accreditor for educator preparation.
Walden is approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) to offer a program leading to a Minnesota Tier 3 license in Elementary Education. All candidates must pass the required Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams (MTLEs) in order to complete the program. Candidates seeking licensure in Minnesota are responsible for completing any other Minnesota requirements beyond Walden’s state-approved program. The Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) is solely responsible for reviewing applications and issuing licenses.
Individuals interested in licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify by virtue of completing a state-approved educator preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Individuals who reside in certain states may be ineligible to enroll in this program. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide guidance on licensure questions; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.