How to Become an Elementary Education Teacher
If you’re passionate about teaching elementary school, it’s best to begin by enrolling in a quality BS in Elementary Education program.
Positive learning experiences in elementary school can help shape the future success of young learners, academically as well as professionally and personally. As an elementary education teacher, you would have the opportunity to play that pivotal role—helping to shape and nurture students during their most formative years. Elementary education teachers generally teach students in kindergarten through grade 6, with ages ranging from 5 to 13 years old.
These are the important steps to becoming an elementary school educator:
1. Enroll in a quality online bachelor’s program in education.
The curriculum of comprehensive degree programs like an online BS in Elementary Education should align with the national professional standards of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and aim to prepare you for the state teacher licensing exam. Coursework generally features the fundamentals of teaching general subjects in an elementary classroom setting, and the best programs are enhanced with virtual field experiences, field observations, and demonstration teaching. A robust program helps prepare you to become an effective elementary education teacher eager to make a positive difference in young students’ lives.
It’s important to note that not all education degree programs can prepare you to become a licensed educator. Also, since requirements for licensure can vary, it is important to confirm the requirements where you plan to teach. To do so, contact your state’s department of education prior to enrolling in any licensure preparation or endorsement program.
2. Consider whether you need or want a master’s degree in education.
Although all 50 states require a bachelor’s degree to teach in elementary education, some also require graduate degree, such as an MS in Education degree. Check with your state’s department of education on this important point as well.
3. Apply for a certificate from the department of education.
Once you have met all the teaching licensure requirements, you need to apply for a certificate from the department of education in your state. As a licensed and certified teacher, you are qualified to get a job as a teacher in any public school located in your state. If at any time you decide to teach in a different state, you will want to confirm the policies on reciprocity for out-of-state teacher certification.
Salaries and Job Outlook for Elementary Educators
The market for elementary school teachers is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for elementary school teachers, except special education, was $59,420 in May 2019. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,420, and the highest 10% earned more than $90,180.1
If you’re passionate about becoming an elementary school teacher and you follow the necessary steps to achieve your goal, you can look forward to a fulfilling career inspiring young students with the joy of learning.
A BS in Elementary Education online program can help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to teach in K–6 classrooms. Walden’s online bachelor’s program in elementary education lets you learn from anywhere you have internet access and take classes at whatever time of day works best for you. This makes it possible to earn an online teaching degree while working full time and handling your other responsibilities. And, if you earn your BS in Elementary Education from Walden University, a CAEP-accredited institution, that coursework will prepare you to pursue teacher certification.
If elementary education is the right choice for your career, a BS in Elementary Education from Walden University can help you get there.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Elementary Education degree program online . Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.1Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-1