Academic and Career Goals of Becoing a Kndergarten and Elementary Teacher

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Finding the right career doesn’t come easy, but instead, it takes a lot of looking into things such as benefits, salary, job duties, requirements, and hours of work. All these things play a major role in what will become the career of your choice. My career choice is a kindergarten and Elementary school teacher; there is just something about helping young kids realize their potential at an early stage of life that is so captivating. This is why I chose to look deeper into this career to see exactly what it takes to have a career as an educator.

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The standard definition of a kindergarten and Elementary school teacher is to instruct young students in basic subjects in order to prepare them for future schooling. However, as simple and straightforward as that sounds, there is a vast amount of background work that goes into achieving that goal. For instance, teachers have to create lesson plans before every week detailing a step by step guide that will provide the necessary instruction students must receive in order to learn the material for that unit. Preparing students for benchmarks and standardized tests required by the state is another main role teachers must undertake. A key component in having success transpire on these high stakes tests is to provide differentiated instruction by working with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges. Furthermore, building a strong foundation in reading and math skills can help a student overcome those challenges and exceed their goals. Another thing that teachers use to help with students’ success is being able to create a safe and secure environment where the students are aware that mistakes are okay and can only be a stepping stone for the next challenge. Teachers achieve this by getting to know the students, both academically and personally, to gain a better understanding of what works for each child individually. Not only do teachers have to learn how to interact with the students, but with the elementary school students being so young, the teacher also takes part in being responsible for teaching students how to interact with one another to help them develop social and emotional skills. Challenges can arise from doing so, and when or if they do arise, that is when the teacher would hold a teacher-parent conference to discuss such behavior (conferences can also be held for academic reasons). We cannot forget the simpler, but just as stressful, duties a teacher is responsible for; things such as having and creating a classroom that works for them is a prime example. Designing a classroom that allows the teacher to be able to see all corners and the doors at any moment to help avoid massive chaos from happening is a key factor for success. Another example of a teacher’s duty is escorting students to and from different places in the school, for example, to the gym, assemblies, recess, lunch, and much more in a typical school day.

In order to become a kindergarten and elementary school teacher, there are many requirements that must be fulfilled. One requirement is having a bachelor’s degree which is typically achieved within four or five years at a university or college. While at the college or university, students must complete a course of student teaching. Student teaching is meant to help the student put their skills to the test with first-hand experiences. First, the student is sent to a neighboring or participating school district and school that fits the occupation they are going for. In the first couple of weeks of their experience, the student is in the background observing how the real teacher is teaching and handling behavioral issues and helping with any necessary work the real teacher may need them to do. The next couple of weeks include students developing their understanding of his or her role and seeing the larger whole of the profession by instructing a class on their own to fill out the environment of a classroom. After student teaching, there are a couple more steps you must complete such as passing a general teaching certification test that is usually based more around the subject a teacher plans on teaching. These tests are taken to measure the comprehensive knowledge of basic subjects and skills of someone who is entering the teaching profession. The last obstacle to conquer is to pass a background check which shouldn’t be too hard. Once all steps are completed, all that’s left to do is find a job. 

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