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Become A Student Teacher

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Working As A Student Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $58,784

    Average Salary

What Does A Student Teacher Do

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading. 

Duties

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans to teach students subjects, such as reading, science, social studies, and math
  • Teach students how to study and communicate with others
  • Observe students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class of students or to smaller groups
  • Grade students’ assignments to monitor their progress
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules to teach children proper behavior
  • Supervise children outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or recess

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers help students learn and apply important concepts. Many teachers use a hands-on approach to help students understand abstract concepts, solve problems, and develop critical thinking skills. For example, they may demonstrate how to do a science experiment and then have the students conduct the experiment themselves. They may have students work together to learn how to collaborate to solve problems.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers generally teach kindergarten through fourth or fifth grade. However, in some schools, elementary school teachers may teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. They typically teach students several subjects throughout the day.

Some teachers may teach in a multilevel classroom that includes students across two or more grades. They may teach the same group of students for several years.

Kindergarten and elementary school students spend most of their day in one classroom. Teachers may escort students to assemblies; to classes taught by other teachers, such as art or music; or to recess. While students are away from the classroom, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.

In some schools, teachers may work in subject specialization teams in which they teach one or two specific subjects, either English and social studies or math and science. Generally, students spend half their time with one teacher and half their time with the other.

Some kindergarten and elementary school teachers teach special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

Some schools employ teachers of English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Both of these types of teachers work exclusively with students who are learning the English language, often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). The teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and to help them with assignments from other classes.

Students with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioral disorders are often taught in traditional classes. Kindergarten and elementary teachers work with special education teachers to adapt lesson plans to these students’ needs and monitor the students’ progress. In some cases, kindergarten and elementary school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.

Some teachers maintain websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For students in higher grades, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information or to expand on a lesson taught in class.

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How To Become A Student Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public kindergarten and elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Some states also require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. They typically enroll in their college’s teacher preparation program and also take classes in education and child psychology in addition to those required by their major.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit teach.org.

Some states require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Private schools typically seek kindergarten and elementary school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are generally not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are typically certified to teach early childhood grades, which are usually preschool through third grade, or elementary school grades, which are usually first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States often require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. Although kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do not teach only a single subject, they may be required to pass a content area test to earn their certification. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit teach.org.

Teachers are frequently required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately after graduation, under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing one of these programs.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to undergo a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with teacher assistants and special education teachers. In addition, they need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Creativity. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must plan lessons that engage young students, adapting the lessons to different learning styles.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with kindergarten and elementary-aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that young students can understand. In addition, they must be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt their lessons to meet students’ needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these roles, they help less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals, both of which generally require additional schooling in education administration or leadership.

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Student Teacher Jobs

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Student Teacher Career Paths

Student Teacher
Preschool Teacher Assistant Director Adjunct Instructor
Academic Dean
10 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Instructor ESL Instructor
Academic Director
8 Yearsyrs
Long Term Substitute Teacher Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Site Coordinator Youth Director
Children's Ministries Director
6 Yearsyrs
Math Tutor Math Teacher Assistant Principal
Curriculum Director
9 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Teacher Instructor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Adjunct Professor
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Aide Teacher Preschool Teacher
Director Of Preschool
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Director Of Special Education
11 Yearsyrs
Preschool Teacher Lead Teacher
Director Of Teacher Education
5 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Office Manager Instructor
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Lead Teacher Education Coordinator
Education Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Education Coordinator
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Social Studies Teacher Assistant Principal
High School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Science Teacher Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Long Term Substitute Teacher Math Teacher Assistant Principal
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Special Education Teacher Assistant Principal
School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Language Arts Teacher Social Studies Teacher Assistant Principal
Vice Principal
9 Yearsyrs
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Student Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

72.9%

Male

25.0%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.6%

French

11.0%

Chinese

4.6%

Mandarin

4.5%

Italian

3.9%

German

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%

Korean

3.0%

Russian

2.7%

Japanese

2.5%

Cantonese

1.3%

Portuguese

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Greek

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Urdu

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Ukrainian

0.5%

Gujarati

0.4%
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Student Teacher Education

Schools

Grand Canyon University

11.3%

University of Phoenix

10.2%

Hofstra University

7.0%

State University of New York College at New Paltz

5.0%

Montclair State University

4.8%

New York University

4.8%

Teachers College of Columbia University

4.6%

Ball State University

4.5%

Central Michigan University

4.4%

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

4.3%

DePaul University

4.3%

Temple University

4.2%

Eastern Michigan University

4.1%

Western Governors University

4.0%

Liberty University

3.8%

Texas State University

3.8%

Northern Illinois University

3.8%

Kean University

3.8%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

College of Saint Rose

3.6%
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Majors

Elementary Education

23.6%

Education

15.5%

Special Education

10.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

8.4%

Early Childhood Education

8.1%

Secondary Education And Teaching

4.4%

English

4.3%

Health Education

2.8%

History

2.7%

Educational Leadership

2.6%

Psychology

2.4%

Curriculum And Instruction

2.2%

Human Development

2.0%

Business

1.8%

Mathematics

1.8%

Interdisciplinary Studies

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.5%

Music

1.2%

Biology

1.2%

Kinesiology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.5%

Masters

37.6%

Other

11.2%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

2.3%

Doctorate

1.8%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.2%
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Real Student Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Teacher of Students With Severe Disabilities Santa Clara County Office of Education San Jose, CA Sep 26, 2014 $101,011
Teacher of Students With Severe Disabilities Santa Clara County Office of Education San Jose, CA Sep 26, 2013 $97,241
Teacher of Students With Moderate/Severe Disabilit Santa Clara County Office of Education San Jose, CA Oct 02, 2013 $95,333
Teacher of Students With Severe Disabilities Santa Clara County Office of Education Campbell, CA Oct 01, 2013 $89,974
Teacher of Students With Severe Disabilities Santa Clara County Office of Education Saratoga, CA Oct 10, 2013 $87,157
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Sep 21, 2016 $62,673
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Sep 22, 2016 $62,673
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Aug 19, 2016 $62,673
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Mar 11, 2015 $59,027
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Mar 17, 2015 $59,027
Teacher of Students With Speech & Language Disabilities Bilinguals Inc. Hillsdale, NY Aug 06, 2015 $59,027
Students With Disabilities (Grades) Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Apr 02, 2016 $48,445
Students With Disabilities Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Sep 01, 2014 $48,445
Students With Disabilities (Grades) Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Jan 02, 2016 $48,445
Students With Disabilities (Grades) Teacher New York City Department of Education New York, NY Feb 02, 2016 $48,445

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Top Skills for A Student Teacher

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  1. Lesson Plans
  2. Classroom Management
  3. Mathematics Lessons
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Evaluated behavior of children *Assisted teacher with classroom responsibilities *Coached classroom with lesson plans
  • Created effective learning environment by practicing positive classroom management strategies and promoting student success by identifying opportunities to excel.
  • Incorporated music into mathematics lessons on fractions by writing songs that utilized acoustic guitar and vocal abilities.
  • Collaborated with Co-teacher and other school staff on behavior management and curriculum.
  • SCHOOL RELATED INTERESTS Interested in participating in team teaching, grade level curriculum writing, and drug abuse resistance programming.

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Top 10 Best States for Student Teachers

  1. California
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. Alaska
  5. Maryland
  6. New Jersey
  7. New York
  8. Michigan
  9. Delaware
  10. Rhode Island
  • (3,515 jobs)
  • (929 jobs)
  • (309 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (864 jobs)
  • (780 jobs)
  • (529 jobs)
  • (536 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)

Top Student Teacher Employers

Jobs From Top Student Teacher Employers

Student Teacher Videos

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER

High School Science Teacher, Career Video from drkit.org

Teacher Salary Challenges

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