Second Grade Teacher: Job Description & Requirements

Second grade teaching positions require some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

Second grade teachers teach basic concepts and skills to children in elementary schools. They typically have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and require both knowledge on creating interactive lesson plans and plenty of patience. In order to work in public elementary schools, they must also be licensed within their respective state.

Essential Information

Individuals with a love of children and a passion for teaching may find a career in second grade education fulfilling. With a bachelor's degree in teacher education or a related field, as well as a state teaching license, second grade teachers can find jobs in elementary schools teaching basic concepts and skills to children through interactive lesson plans.

Required Education Bachelor's in elementary education
Other Requirements State license or certificate
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for all elementary teachers, except special education)
Median Salary (2015)* $54,890 annually (for all elementary teachers, except special education)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description

Working with the early childhood stage, second grade teachers play a vital part in their students' development, setting the standard for their experience of learning, fostering confidence and helping them to grasp basic concepts like reading, simple geography and mathematics. Second grade teaching involves interactive learning with games, visual aids, music and other tools to keep students engaged and challenged. A majority of teachers instruct students of varying learning levels across all subjects, though some elementary schools employ teachers dedicated to one specific subject or a smaller grouping of subjects who can work together to provide a full general education.

Requirements

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates of several different bachelor's degree programs are eligible to apply for a teaching license (www.bls.gov). If not completing an elementary school teacher education program, aspiring teachers may want to consider focusing on a broad range of subject areas. Aspiring teachers who do not have a degree in early childhood education, may need to complete supplemental training.

Licensure

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require state licensure to begin teaching. Earning a teaching license generally requires completing a bachelor's degree program, a teacher education program and supervised teaching experience. Teachers interested in national certification, which is not required but may boost job opportunities, should consider submitting a portfolio to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to apply for a Generalist/Early Childhood teaching certificate (www.nbpts.org).

Skills

Second grade teaching requires patience, creativity and a knack for organization and multitasking. It's recommended that second grade teachers understand how to motivate and communicate with children, as well as how to efficiently address behavioral problems. Teachers should also be well-versed in current teaching trends and approaches, and able to tailor their teaching methods to the needs of a specific individual or class.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, elementary school teacher jobs, excluding special education jobs, are expected to grow 6% from 2014-2024, with more job prospects expected in rural and inner city areas. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for elementary school teachers was $54,890 in May 2015.

Second grade teachers typically complete undergraduate elementary teacher education programs, but other bachelor's degrees programs can also help prospective educators enter this career. State licensure is required to teach in public schools, and voluntary certification is available as well. The current job market for elementary school teachers is expected to grow between 2012 and 2024, and job options may be more plentiful in rural or inner city schools.


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