Third Grade Teacher: Educational Requirements and Job Description

Sep 06, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a third grade school teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensure requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

Teaching is an ever growing field, with good pay, steady employment, and upward mobility. Third grade teachers are talented professionals able to bridge a child's learning between early years and prep for middle school. This position requires at least a bachelor's degree and certification.

Essential Information

Third grade teachers create a positive learning environment by teaching classes and creating curricula for elementary school children. Those who want to become third grade teachers should complete undergraduate degree programs in elementary education or childhood education. In addition to the bachelor' degree, a state teaching license is required. State boards of education oversee the teaching licensure process.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Certification or license
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% for an elementary school teacher
Median Salary (2018)* $58,230 annually for an elementary school teacher

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

Education Requirements to Become a Third Grade Teacher

A degree program in elementary education qualifies graduates to work with children up to the sixth grade level. Prospective elementary education students must have strong interpersonal skills. Many education degree programs include a student-teaching component to help graduates with the process of obtaining a state teaching license.

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in elementary education have the option of choosing a major area of study. Common areas of emphasis include science and math. A second major area, such as English as a second language or gifted education, may also be chosen. Students receive instruction on the principles and theories of elementary education through core coursework.

Core elementary education courses cover topics like human development, education foundations, diverse classroom management, reading instruction and curriculum development. During the program, candidates sharpen their critical thinking, decision-making, communication and student evaluation skills.

License Requirements

A teaching license is required of all elementary school teachers who work in the public school system. Requirements for a teaching license vary from state to state. Most states require the teacher candidate to have both an education degree that meets certain subject-area course requirements and a completed period of supervised teaching. Many undergraduate degree programs in education include a supervised teaching component so that graduates can easily transition into the state licensing process.

Education degree programs are also structured in such a way as to meet any course requirements set forth by the state. This coordination between various education degree programs and the states in which they are located clarifies the process for students who may otherwise be uncertain about how to proceed.

Career Information

The typical day of a third grade teacher includes a myriad of teaching responsibilities. Some of these duties include keeping class attendance, ensuring that all students are progressing according to schedule, giving lectures and keeping the class occupied by providing activities and lessons. Outside of class they are required to meet with parents to discuss student performance and, in some cases, counsel students who are not performing well academically.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 3% increase in the employment of elementary school teachers was expected for the 2018-2028 period. This employment figure includes teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade. The BLS stated that the median annual salary of an elementary school teacher, in May 2018, was $58,230.

Good pay, excellent benefits, and rewarding work are a great foundation in a career as a third grade teacher. Elementary teachers are always needed and movement within grade levels is very common. You will need to check with each state for specific licensure requirements, and a bachelor's degree will be required to start.

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