It’s an old cliché but one that’s true—children are the future. Elementary school teachers are among our most valuable resources. Teaching students from kindergarten to 6th grade, they help children to learn and grow in their most formative years. If you love working with children and think that you might take satisfaction from helping young minds to develop, then a career as a teacher may be right for you. Now that you can choose to earn your elementary education degree online, studying to become a teacher has never been more convenient.
Early Childhood vs. Elementary
What’s the difference between early childhood and elementary education? Although the specifics vary from state to state, early childhood education degrees will typically allow you teach from infancy up until 3rd grade, while the elementary education degree will certify you to teach from kindergarten through 6th grade (8th grade in some states). When choosing between an early childhood education degree online program over one that focuses on elementary education, the age range you would like to teach should be the determining factor.
Online Elementary Education Degree Programs
In order to become an elementary school teacher, a bachelor’s degree in education and a period of student teaching is generally required, after which you must take and pass a state licensing examination. In recent years, numerous online elementary education degree programs have become available, helping to make that process much more navigable.
If you are currently in another profession or otherwise too busy to attend college full-time, you can take advantage of the resources online education programs have to offer, attending class from the comfort of your own home on your own schedule. Through online elementary education degree programs, there is no need to relocate or otherwise disrupt your current life. Although becoming an elementary school educator requires some classroom teaching experience, most online programs can make arrangements for you to conduct this instruction in a school located close to where you currently live.
Some school districts mandate that teachers begin work towards a master’s degree as they progress in their careers. Other teachers decide to undertake advanced education in order to enhance their skills and knowledge and improve the quality of education they are able to provide to young students. In any instance, online elementary education programs are a viable option available at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Elementary School Teaching is a Growing Field
Elementary school teachers prepare lessons, provide classroom instruction and administer tests, and serve as mentors to children. It’s their job to teach students the fundamentals in reading, writing, math, science, and other subjects, helping children to build a strong foundation that will enable them to thrive in later years. The work can be extremely rewarding for those who possess patience, maturity, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to society.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for elementary school teachers is expected to grow by 16% through 2018, adding almost 250,000 new positions in that time. While teaching is generally believed to be a low-paying field, that’s actually a misperception.
The median average salary for elementary school educators is close to $50,000 per year. Depending on your experience, location, and level of education, that number can go significantly higher. If you’ve ever considered a career in teaching young children, now is as good of a time as any to begin exploring online and distance learning courses. Start earning your elementary education degree online today.