Elementary Education Degree
An elementary education degree prepares teachers for education jobs with children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Elementary education programs, many of which are available online from accredited universities, provide the necessary training for persons with a passion for imparting knowledge to children, usually from kindergarten to sixth or eighth grade, depending on the prevailing education system. An elementary education degree online can be a convenient option for students seeking some flexibility in their studies. A bachelors in elementary education prepare elementary school teachers with theoretic and practical skills needed to provide quality education to children in a classroom setting. Elementary education degree programs provide a practical understanding of child development and psychology balanced with teacher education. Prospective elementary school teachers are also educated about the need to work with parents and other child caregivers in providing the necessary academic, social, physical and emotional support needed for child development and growth. An elementary school teacher must be caring, with a genuine passion for educating children.
How to Become an Elementary School Teacher
Elementary School teachers’ qualifications depend on the state or region, but generally bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in elementary education are needed. Elementary education programs include coursework in child psychology, education psychology, child development, curriculum development and teaching methods. In most states, certification is required to be able to practice as an elementary school teacher. Criteria for certification varies from state to state, but in general, three things are required – a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, supervised practice teaching experience, and a passing grade in a state teaching exam. Students can decide on an elementary education program that is most convenient – either online distance learning or on-site programs in accredited colleges.
Typical Elementary Teaching Degree Courses
Some examples of common classes in the curriculum of an elementary teaching degree program include:
- Introduction to Elementary Education
- Foundations of Literacy Development
- Literature for Children
- Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers
- Communication in Cross-Cultural Classrooms
- Assessment of Learning
Elementary Education Degrees and Certification
Elementary teacher salary levels vary depending on such things as location and experience. However, the average salary of a qualified elementary teacher is anywhere from $39,000 to $59,000 per year. The teaching profession is expected to grow by 18% through 2018. Job opportunities for elementary school teachers who have earned their degrees and licenses vary by state and availability. A person with excellent communication skills and a degree in elementary education has a strong chance of success in becoming an elementary teacher. Jobs for certified educators include: elementary teacher, kindergarten teacher, middle school teacher, child special education teacher, supervising teacher, preschool teacher. Early childhood jobs such as childcare workers in daycare centers, non-profit organizations and community child care programs are also available to graduates of elementary education programs.
An associate degree in elementary education can lead to a multitude of careers including work as a teacher, counselor or childcare worker. An associate degree will give students the educational foundation to pursue their desired work and offer a path to more advanced study. In most states, an associate degree is not adequate to become a teacher and students usually pursue a bachelor’s degree after graduating. Graduates who receive their associate’s degree can expect to find work as a teacher’s aide or substitute teacher.
A master’s degree in elementary education qualifies a graduate to teach children in elementary schools, kindergartens, preschools or daycare centers. These jobs need a person with a unique personality. To excel in this field, people need excellent communication skills and the ability to instill confidence and motivate students of various ages. They must also be able to recognize the needs of each student to help with their academic success.
Elementary Teacher Interviews
Interview with Amber Polk, North Carolina Third Grade Teacher
Interview with Kristin Kennedy, Illinois Fourth Grade Teacher
Interview with Christi Fultz, Indiana Third Grade Teacher
Interview with Mary Pitner, Tennessee Second and Third Grade Teacher
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See our top elementary teachers on Twitter who share their thoughts, recommended articles, and experiences on teaching.
Top 50 Elementary Teacher Blogs
See our list of top 50 elementary teacher blogs by current teachers who share their experiences and tips for effective teaching in an elementary school classroom.
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Online Elementary Education Degree Programs
- B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
- A.A. in Elementary Education
- M.A. in Education/Elementary Teacher Education
- M.A. in Education/Early Childhood Ed.
- And more...
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5 Years)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
- Special Education (Early Childhood/Elementary)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- And more...
- M.S.Ed - Mathematics (Grades K-6)
- M.S.Ed - Elementary Reading and Mathematics (Grades K-6)
- M.S.Ed - Elementary Reading and Literacy (Grades preK-6)
- Ph.D. in Education - Mixed-Model
- And more...
- Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Program (K-8)
- M.A. Teaching (K-8)
- B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)
- M.S. Curriculum and Instruction
- And more...
- Early Childhood Education (Certification Only)
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education