The process of preparing to teach second grade involves many hours of education and experience, often gained through the course of an undergraduate degree program. Prospective teachers learn how to engage their students and run their classrooms effectively. A second grade teacher is expected to make the classroom and learning environment fun and engaging while facilitating a student's academic and social growth.
Aspiring second grade teachers usually need to earn a bachelor's degree and a teaching license or certificate before they can be offered jobs as full-time teachers. Student teaching experience is often included as a degree requirement. Developing lesson plans and formulating student progress reports are among the major skills expected of a second grade teacher.
|Other Requirements||Student teaching|
|Licensure or Certification||Required to teach in public schools|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% (for all kindergarten and elementary school teachers)|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$57,730 annually (for all and elementary school teachers, except special education)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Career Info for Second Grade Teachers
Teaching at the second grade level means working with children who are in their early formative years and ready to start expanding their academic knowledge. Teachers at the elementary school level are expected to cultivate a fun and upbeat learning environment using things like educational games and vibrant bulletin boards.
At the beginning of second grade, many teachers will spend a significant amount of time reviewing first-grade material before jumping into more advanced courses. Second grade curriculum puts a lot of emphasis on reading comprehension. Other subjects taught commonly include addition and subtraction, social studies, art and telling time.
In addition to teaching and developing lesson plans for individual subjects, second grade teachers are normally responsible for evaluating pupils' academic and social growth through detailed progress reports. They then communicate the content of these reports regularly with students' parents. Teachers might also be required to select and order books and instructional supplies and maintain inventory on these items.
It's common for second grade teachers to hold a bachelor's degree from a program accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (www.ncate.org) and obtain a state-specific teaching license. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that private school teachers don't need a license, but will likely need a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). For public school teachers, the BLS explains that a teaching license is required in all 50 states.
Typical bachelor's degree programs cover general topics such as math, science, children's literature, art, music and reading, as well as teacher preparation courses. These pedagogy courses cover topics like educational technology, classroom diversity, psychology of learning, student assessment and specific teaching methods. Courses in early childhood education will also be of value to second grade teachers.
A large part of the traditional second grade teacher education is spending time in actual second grade classrooms, either as an observer or eventually as a supervised student-teacher. These experiences offer prospective teachers the chance to evaluate their abilities at handling crucial situations like how best to balance one-on-one interaction while still giving the overall class attention. Another topic of practice is how to make a smooth, almost imperceptible transition from one activity or subject to another.
The BLS reports that job opportunities for elementary school teachers are projected to grow by 6% from 2014-2024, with many job openings in urban and rural schools. On average, elementary school teachers earned $57,730 a year in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
A bachelor's degree from a school accredited by the NCATE is all that is needed to begin teaching in a second grade classroom. A degree program provides students with in-class experience as well as training in general education topics (math, science, reading, etc), as well as teaching student assessment methods, student psychology, and education technology. Licensure is also required in all 50 states for public school teachers. Private school teachers may or may not need a license as long as they have a bachelor's degree.