Becoming an Elementary Education Teacher

Are you considering becoming an elementary school teacher? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to teach children ages 5-13? Elementary educators are kind and compassionate people who love children and want to help them become their best selves. They are teachers who are interested in building relationships and helping students succeed in a wide variety of subject areas. High quality elementary school teachers are essential in our world today because they pave the way for lifelong learning and plant seeds of creativity, critical thinking and communication that will support student success throughout school and in their future life.  

Elementary school teachers get the privilege to teach all subjects to their students in self-contained classroom settings. While there are often specialized teachers that teach art, music, and PE, all other core subjects are typically taught by the elementary classroom teacher. This means that elementary educators get the opportunity to spend most of the school day with the same set of students, teaching them a wide variety of knowledge, skills and dispositions surrounding many different subjects. This time and perspective allows elementary teachers to get to know their students deeply so that they can develop meaningful relationships and support student learning in a wide variety of ways. 

To become an elementary education teacher, you must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution. An elementary education degree program is designed to prepare teachers to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the wide variety of subjects that are taught in self-contained elementary classrooms. Educational courses include broad topics like educational psychology, instructional strategies, and assessment, and also specific teaching methods for each subject area including language arts, math, science, and social studies. Other specific courses you will find in an elementary degree program might include children’s literature, classroom management, and instructional technology. Elementary educators are trained broadly in content and developmental differences because they are certified to teach all subjects in grades Kindergarten – 8th grade. 

Be a part of the next class of elementary educators.

Explore the Elementary Education Program

Another key ingredient in an elementary education degree program are field experience placements that offer you authentic opportunities to practice teaching while under the guidance of a veteran teacher. Elementary education students should gain practice teaching in a variety of subject areas and with multiple grade levels throughout their program. Field experience placements often begin with support roles where you might help a teacher grade papers, organize materials, or answer student questions during work time. As you learn more and gain more skills, the field experience placements grow into opportunities to plan, teach, and reflect on lessons that you lead with elementary aged students. These formative teaching experiences during field experience placements prepare you for the final semester of the program which is student teaching. 

Student teaching is a fully immersive experience where you spend an entire semester teaching, leading, and learning in a public school, private school, or faith-based LCMS school. Elementary education students are encouraged to have two different 8-week placements during the student teaching semester so that they can experience several grade levels and school environments. Learning in a variety of settings equips future elementary school teachers more broadly and is essential for practice teaching and leading in the wide age range this endorsement supports. 

High quality elementary school teachers are needed in our society today. YOU can be a part of this essential vocation that equips and prepares the next generation of citizens for our country and world.