Are you interested in helping to shape the futures of children in your area? If so, a career in elementary education might be perfect for you. Let’s look at what it means to work in elementary education and the different career paths you can consider.
Degree Information for Elementary Education Students
You can get started working in elementary education with just a bachelor’s degree, though the best jobs are typically only open to candidates who have a master’s degree (or more) in the field. Your classes will focus on things such as educational psychology, curriculum development, teaching methods, and more, and be more intensive in the graduate master’s program than in the bachelor’s program.
Your education will also include student teaching. With student teaching, you’ll actually go into a real classroom and work with students, first under close supervision of a teacher and then with less supervision. Your master’s degree program may also include classes on things like administration, which prepares you for a leadership role in this field. It typically takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree and an additional two to three years to complete a master’s degree in this field.
Daily Tasks as an Elementary Educator
Your daily tasks will vary depending on the type of educator you become. Some elementary education teachers have control of a class all day, while others move from classroom to classroom, teaching a specific subject, like math or art. In addition, you might have administrative duties, depending on your title, as well as after school responsibilities like running a club, managing detention, or holding conferences with parents and other teachers about problem students.
Your responsibilities will depend on your employer as well – at a private school, you’ll typically do more work after the school day finishes, but you’ll also typically get paid a higher salary.
Elementary Education Career Paths
While most elementary educators work as teachers, this is not your only choice. You can also move into administration, becoming a head teacher, principle, or other member of the teacher support staff. In addition, a degree in elementary education doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work in a traditional school. Some people with this type of degree go on to work as private tutors, coaches, day care workers, or camp counselors. Getting your master’s degree opens up even more opportunities for you as an educator.