Elementary School Teacher A Career Brochure By Rachael Willis

Introduction

Lots of people are interested in becoming elementary school teachers, including myself. It seems like a fun and easy job with an average pay, but there are some downsides to it. Although it seems like a simple job, there is more to being an elementary school teacher than meets the eye.

A Day in the Life

The average elementary school teacher has a very chaotic day. They usually get to school an hour or so before school starts and prepare for the school day. Most elementary schools start around 8:30. Elementary school teachers have to cover a wide span of subjects and standards over the school year. They have to teach language arts, math, social studies, and science. Elementary schools often have art, music, and physical education classes that the teacher drops their students off at. During this time, teachers may plan their lessons. Lunch and recess are usually around 12:00. Teachers eat their lunch at this time, too.

Elementary school children eating lunch.

After lunch and recess, the teacher will continue teaching the concepts he or she needs to teach in that school day. Elementary school usually ends around 3:00 in the afternoon. Teachers usually stay after school to prepare for the coming school days.

Teachers use many different techniques to help their students understand the concepts. In this picture, the teacher is teaching the class a lesson.

In this picture, the teacher is helping a certain group of kids. Teachers can pull aside groups or individuals who are falling behind and give them some extra help.

Requirements to Become an Elementary School Teacher

Educational requirements

To be a teacher, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree in any approved program for teachers. A Master's degree isn't required in the state of Arizona, but it is required in most states. Having a Master's will increase chances of employment. Lots of schools have programs for teachers.

Arizona State University has a program at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College called the BAE program for teachers who aspire to teach grades 1-8.

Certification

In the state of Arizona, elementary school teachers need to get certified. They can do so by getting either the Early Childhood Education certificate, which is from birth to age eight or third grade, or the Elementary School Education certificate, which is from first grade to eighth grade. The grade that the teacher-in-training would like to teach in will affect the certificate that they need to get. Teachers who want to teach first, second, or third grade could get either certificate. This is because these three grades are within the age span of the Early Childhood Education certificate and the grade span of the Elementary School Education certificate.

This teacher has received her Texas Educator Certificate. Her certificate is different to Arizona's certificates because she wants to teach in Texas. Different states have different certificates for educators.

To become a certified teacher in Arizona, you must apply to get certified and take exams.

To sum it all up, it takes a while to become an elementary school teacher in Arizona. The process is more complicated than it seems.

Pros and Cons

Pros/benefits

  • Elementary school topics are simple, so teaching them won't be difficult.
  • Teachers grow close with their students and are really good with kids.

Teachers grow strong bonds with their students.

Cons/Risks

  • Teachers have an awful salary.
  • Their average day is chaotic and stressful.
  • Teachers have to come in early and leave late.

The salary is very low. The average salary an elementary school teacher in America makes $54,550 per year, but the average elementary school teacher in Arizona makes $31,874.

Work Setting and Conditions

Work setting

Elementary school teachers work at elementary schools. Elementary schools usually have lots of students because they span many grade levels. Some campuses are outdoors and some are indoors. Each teacher has their own classroom that they can decorate with educational posters. Elementary school classrooms tend to be fun and colorful in comparison to middle school and high school classrooms.

WOrk conditions

Like mentioned before, the average day is very chaotic. Most little kids are very wild and immature, making them hard to instruct. But, not all kids are like that. Some are calmer and want to learn. It all depends on the kids in the class.

These three classrooms look like the average elementary school classroom. Teachers make their classrooms colorful by decorating.

Job Posting: Third Grade Teacher at BASIS Peoria

BASIS Peoria is looking for a third grade teacher. BASIS is a well-known network of very rigorous charter schools in America. There are lots of BASIS schools in the state of Arizona. BASIS recommends that applicants have had at least 3 years of experience as a teacher to succeed in this job.

A picture of BASIS Peoria and the school mascot, the scorpion

General information

  • Salary: competitive and dependent on performance and education
  • BASIS offers a comprehensive benefits package.
  • What the average day would look like: The teacher will teach the same class of students throughout the day and cover a variety of topics. The Subject Expert Teacher (SET) will teach the topics during the different "periods," so the teacher doesn't have to come up with lesson plans. Because the SET teaches the class, the teacher makes sure that everyone understands. The teacher often works with individuals or groups to make sure that the students understand the concepts. The teacher and the SET collaborate to find the best ways to teach the lessons.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in Education
  • Valid fingerprint clearance
  • Documentation of passage of a state authorized elementary subject knowledge education test

Preferred QUalifications, Skills, & Traits

  • At least 3 years of experience as an elementary school teacher
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to be open to new ideas

Job Posting: Kindergarten Teacher at Kingdom Preparatory Academy

Kingdom Preparatory Academy is looking for a kindergarten teacher. This school is small and Christian. If you want to teach at a religious school, this job might be right for you.

General Information

  • Job type: Full-time
  • Job tasks: Lesson planning, teaching, assessing lessons, and using activities to teach the students

Requirements

  • 4 year degree in Early Childhood Education or Elementary Education

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS, & TRAITS

  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • A love for young children

Companies/Organizations that I am Interested in Pursuing for This Career

  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Intel Teach
NAIS logo

Location & Geographic Restrictions

Each state pays teachers differently. The state of Arizona pays teachers $43,050, but the state of New York pays teachers $74,830. That is a very high salary for a teacher, but it isn't very high compared to other professions.

A chart showing the salaries of elementary school teachers by state
Created By
Rachael Willis
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Credits:

Created with images by Freeimages9 - "chalk color red" • NikolayFrolochkin - "dollar money currency"

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