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Become A Teacher

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Working As A 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

  • $35,500

    Average Salary

What Does A Teacher Do

A Teacher develops lesson plans and uses those plans to teach students. They also evaluate and record students’ progress and provide grades and feedback.

How To Become A 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.


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.


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.


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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Real Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Teacher Austin International School Association Austin, TX Oct 01, 2015 $206,613
Contract Teacher Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA Jun 08, 2015 $156,525
Teacher Temple Shaaray Tefila New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $135,655
Japanese Teacher Woodside Priory School Portola Valley, CA Aug 01, 2015 $118,959
Secondary School Teacher-Science-Chemistry Mamaroneck Union Free School District Mamaroneck, NY Aug 29, 2016 $107,336
Teacher AYA Nakamura River Edge, NJ Jun 09, 2016 $104,350
Teacher The Kids International Weekend School Inc. River Edge, NJ Jun 09, 2016 $104,350
Teacher Ecole Internationale de New York LLC New York, NY Sep 22, 2015 $103,000
Teacher Bright Star Schools CA Dec 08, 2016 $97,118
Bilingual Secondary School Teacher Lycee Francais de San Francisco San Francisco, CA Dec 09, 2016 $95,576
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Top Skills for A Teacher


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Top Teacher Skills

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Weekly Lesson Plans
  3. Curriculum Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured classroom management by setting rules and limits.
  • Assisted with weekly lesson plans, program, and curriculum development
  • Participated in the district curriculum development for social studies.
  • Teach basic mathematics, science, English and social studies courses to educationally challenged high school students
  • Instructed English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Writing, Technology, Current Events, and Character Education.

Top Teacher Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Teacher

  1. KinderCare
  2. La Petite Academy
  3. Bright Horizons
  4. YMCA
  5. Childcare Network
  6. Childtime
  7. Kids 'R' Kids International
  8. Primrose Schools
  9. The Goddard School
  10. Minnieland Academy
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Teacher Videos

A Day in the Life of a Teacher

Kindergarten Teacher - Career Conversation

A Day In the Life of a Teacher: The Documentary