Elementary School Teachers

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Elementary School Teachers

Elementary School Teachers - Preparation

To work as an elementary school teacher, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • have at least a bachelor's degree;
  • complete an approved teacher training program;
  • complete a student teacher internship; and
  • pass a state licensing exam.

Education after high school

To teach in a public elementary school, you must have at least a bachelor's degree from an approved teacher education program. Teaching programs include courses in early childhood development, reading and math instruction, and child guidance.

Many states require that teachers have (or be in the process of working on) a master's degree. This usually involves one additional year of coursework after completing a bachelor's degree.

To renew your teaching license, you need to take additional courses in education. Many teachers do this during the summer months.

Private elementary schools may not require that teachers have a bachelor's degree in education.

On-the-job training

Before graduating from a teacher education program, you work as a student teacher. Student teachers work in elementary school classrooms with experienced teachers. In the beginning, you observe the teacher and classroom. Later, you teach on your own.

In your first year as a teacher you may receive additional on-the-job training. This generally takes the form of extra supervision by the principal or another teacher.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.