Elementary and Middle School Teachers: General Teaching Requirements
Elementary and middle school teachers hold some of the most important jobs in the country. In order for these professionals to provide the service they do, they need to demonstrate their ability to do so. This means having the educational and licensing requirements required under law to provide these services. Those who wish to become an elementary or middle school teacher will need to obtain the following qualifications and requirements.
Teaching Degree Requirements for Public Schools
To work in a public education facility as an elementary or middle school teacher, individuals need to complete a set course of study, as defined by the state's requirements, and pass a licensing exam. This requires at least a bachelor's degree in education, and it may be required for the teacher to further their education to a master's degree within a few years of being employed as a teacher. Teacher certification changes from state to state in terms of what the teacher needs to learn.
However, many elementary and middle school teachers do have specializations. For example, some teachers will focus on the arts, and therefore provide music, art, or drama education. Others focus on areas such as science, mathematics, social studies, or even speech and hearing pathology. Some teach a foreign language while others teach an assortment of all of these classes. In these lower grades, specialization is not always necessary.
Elementary and middle school teachers will need to maintain their license through continuing education courses, in most states. These courses provide a range of educational needs for the teachers, including undertaking new methods of teaching or pursuing educational requirements the school or the state requires.
Teaching Degree Requirements for Private Schools
Educational requirements for private schools vary. In private schools, a higher level of education may be necessary. Teachers may have master's degrees, or even doctoral degrees in some cases. The individual schools are able to set these requirements for their teachers, though they must meet the state required (and sometimes the school district) required minimums.
Becoming a teacher can be a rewarding experience, but it requires constantly maintaining a higher level of education, which is why continuing education is often part of the process. A teacher's license will be offered and maintained to qualified individuals who meet the standards of the state specifically. Check with your state's specific requirements.