The Importance of Elementary Education Teachers
One of the most popular teaching careers is working as an elementary education teacher. It is also one of the most important teaching positions. An elementary teacher has the potential to positively influence both the children and parents they work with every day.
What Does an Elementary Education Teacher Do?
Elementary education teachers have many job duties beyond just teaching children. They must first plan and develop lessons that are age appropriate after assessing each student’s strengths and weaknesses. All class assignments, homework and assessments will need to be graded by the teacher and recorded in each student’s file in order to monitor their progress. Lesson plans also need to be adapted to accommodate any students with special needs to allow each student the opportunity for success.
Early childhood educators work hard with parents and administrators to assist students to learn in the best way possible. Some students have mental, emotional or physical disabilities. Those students are often on a 504 plan or an IEP. These plans include a list of the child’s strengths and weaknesses and explanations of what types of adaptations work best for them. Teachers work with administrators, special needs teachers, parents and students to develop the best plan to present these students with the same or similar education experience as their peers.
In addition to helping children learn, you will be responsible for creating and implementing classroom rules to enforce appropriate behavior in class. Teachers also help prepare students for any standardized tests they are required to take throughout the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary school educators use creative tools such as dramatic play, art, singing songs, science experiments and props to help students understand and apply certain concepts.
Elementary school teachers generally have self-contained classrooms in which they will teach all of the major subjects. Math, science, history and reading are taught within one classroom by an individual teacher. Students will have different teachers for various special content areas such as art, physical education and music. Just as with any teaching career, you will be required to devote more hours to your work than just the school day. Many teachers stay at school after hours or take some work home to help them complete all their responsibilities.
Why an Elementary Education Teacher is Important
The chief reason an elementary school teacher is crucial to each child is that they are some of the first teachers that a child will encounter. It is sometimes difficult to instill a love of learning in children. Elementary school teachers must be positive and use fun and unique approaches to learning to help keep each student interested and engaged in learning.
As an early childhood educator, you may be the first adult that a child spends their entire day with who is not their parent. It is imperative that you develop a good rapport with your students so they learn to respect and trust you so you both have the best possible outcome. These teachers also help teach necessary learning and study habits. In addition, elementary education teachers help students develop appropriate social skills that will help them throughout their entire education.
Teaching the same group of students all year, it is essential to keep your classroom a fun and exciting place to learn. When you are an elementary education teacher, you will need to include imaginative and original teaching tools in your lesson plans. Doing this every day helps to keep things stimulating and fresh to hold your students’ attention and keep them interested in their learning.
Benefits to Being an Elementary Education Teacher
When you decide to become a teacher in most grade levels, one of the key paybacks is the schedule. Teachers have most national holidays off from teaching as well as about two weeks off in December, one week in the spring and usually around 9 to 12 weeks in the summer. If you teach in a year-long school system instead, the schedule is often 9 weeks teaching and 3 weeks break in between. Some teachers prefer to work in a year-long school as it is sometimes better for the students to retain their knowledge with shorter breaks in school.
Most school districts offer a comprehensive benefits package to their full time employees. These benefits include health insurance, flexible spending accounts, retirement savings account contributions and life insurance policies. If you have a family, you spouse and children can also be added to your health insurance policy if you desire.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, early childhood education teachers earn a median wage of $51,660. Most school districts offer entry-level teachers a salary around $30,000. Meanwhile, the top 10 percent earn around $80,000. Salary levels vary depending on the region where you teach and whether you are employed in a private or public school district.
Once you decide to become an elementary education teacher, you will discover the many positive aspects about the job for yourself. If you have patience, creativity and the love of working with children, you have the potential for an important rewarding career as an elementary education teacher.