Elementary School Teacher Video: Educational Requirements

Elementary School Teacher Video: Educational Requirements Transcript

Teaching is widely regarded to be among the most important and rewarding professions. Elementary teaching is often thought to be especially important given the prominent role it plays in the formative years of a child's development. Opportunities within this area of education are diverse, from positions as kindergarten teachers and reading specialists to classroom teachers in upper grades. Playing an inestimable role in the cultural, political, social and economic development of our nation, elementary education teachers play an important part in the life of the country.


Elementary school teachers instruct students in the primary grades, usually kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade. The majority of these educators teach one class of students in several subjects. Curriculum varies by grade level and location, but subjects at the elementary level generally include reading, writing, math, science, music, art and physical education. However, there are educators who are employed to teach a single subject--most often art, physical education or music--to several classes within a school. Regardless of the grade level or subject being taught, educators have largely similar duties in classrooms across the nation. These professionals instruct students on basic skills they'll need to excel academically in secondary grades. Aspects of this work include the administration of tests, evaluation of student performance and other administrative duties. Elementary teachers also play an important role in the social development of children.

Typical Coursework

Most elementary education teachers obtain a bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university. These post-secondary programs include courses in pedagogy, curriculum implementation and other methods students will use in the classroom. Other required courses include instruction in math, music, art, literature and the sciences. At the completion of an education degree, most graduates obtain a license authorizing them to teach in public schools. Teachers at private schools need not be licensed, but generally must have a bachelor's degree. While most elementary educators earn a bachelor's degree, a shortage of teaching professionals has led to most states offering alternative education routes to licensure.

Higher Learning/Graduate Opportunities

Graduate studies are available to those interested in elementary education. These programs provide students with additional training in instructional theory and curriculum implementation. Advanced coursework related to a person's subject preferences may also be required. Students who complete graduate programs can expect better compensation and greater accessibility to high profile administrative positions. Others pursuing graduate degrees elect to remain in academia as professors or researchers making contributions to the field of education.


Teaching is widely regarded to be among the most important and rewarding professions. If you're interested in influencing the future of our nation, a career as an elementary teacher may be right for you.


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