K-12 Education Today
Teachers play a major role in preparing children for the future. In addition to teaching specific subjects, teachers often provide guidance, encouragement, and a positive environment for children to learn and mature into responsible adults. Kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers are usually the people who spend the most time with children during their formative years. Below is a glimpse inside the responsibilities and requirements for K-12 educators today.
Kindergarten and Elementary School
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers (typically grades K-5) have, quite possibly, the most important job of all teachers. These teachers play a critical role in the early development of children, and lay the groundwork for children's entire future education success. Early educators truly shape an individual's view of school, themselves, and their future.
Proper education practices during these grade levels can affect overall learning and achievements for years to come. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers use a wide variety of teaching techniques to give children the best possible learning experience. They often use interactive games, videos, books, computer programs, props, and 3-dimensional displays to help children understand and solve problems, develop thought processes, understand abstract concepts, learn basic subjects, and develop language. Play and hands-on teaching techniques are used a great deal in kindergarten years, but start to transition to a more traditional learning experience in later elementary years.
Kindergarten teachers focus a great deal on reading, language comprehension, and phonics, and begin to introduce new concepts such as math and science. Elementary school teachers typically are responsible for one class of children and teach several subjects throughout the school day. Reading, math, science, art, physical education, and social studies are all taught at different intervals.
Middle School and High School
Middle school and high school teachers (typically grades 6-12) generally cover individual subjects on a much more concentrated level. These teachers often teach one subject during the school day, and children rotate from class to class throughout the day. During this time children are often introduced to new subjects such as history, biology, literature, music programs, and foreign languages. Teachers at this grade level, especially at high school levels, tend to focus more on college and career preparation as well. Specialized programs such as business courses, chemistry courses, vocational programs, and technical programs are usually offered. Middle and high school teachers often play a major role in helping students decide their future career paths and work to provide college and career guidance, as well as internship and job placement.
Technology's Role in Education
Today, more than ever, computers and technology play a major part in K-12 education. Computer programs and Internet applications allow students to communicate, conduct research, and learn on levels never before seen. This allows for interactive learning, as well as giving students greater access to teachers and help when they need it. Students also gain global knowledge, which leads to a greater understanding of the world. Teachers use computers to communicate with students, receive assignments, and track grades. It is extremely important that teachers stay up to date on all current technology to give themselves and their students a competitive edge.
The role of a teacher is vast and extremely important. Teachers are usually underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated. However, teachers love what they do and strive to give their students the best possible education. These individuals truly shape children, instill confidence and a strong work ethic, and give students the tools they need for a lifetime of success.
Schools Offering Early Childhood Education Courses:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders Added Authorization Certificate (ASDAA)
- Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Studies
- Early Childhood Education - Associate in Specialized Business
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