Elementary Education in Public Schools Essay

Submitted By Svnnwll1
Words: 1142
Pages: 5

English 101-16
5 April 2012
Final Draft
Exploration Essay Elementary Education in Public Schools Elementary educators are a vital part of a child’s learning years. They play an important role in building their students’ knowledge and preparing them for the school years ahead. This major empowers one to use their knowledge and love of kids for the enrichment of their students’ educations. These educators establish a relationship with the students that will affect the students’ lives. They become people the students trust and can rely on. Becoming an elementary educator in the public school system in 2012 requires a bachelor’s degree, many hours that can be dedicated to work along with the understanding of minimal pay, and an ambition for changing children’s lives. Getting your Elementary Education degree takes a lot of time and determination. Close to seventy-five semester hours of a variety of classes are required, including the following: six semester hours of Written Composition, fifteen semester hours of Humanities and Fine Arts, nineteen semester hours of Natural Science and Mathematics, twelve semester hours of History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences, and nineteen semester hours of Pre-Professional, Major, and Elective Courses for Elementary Education Majors (University of West Alabama). Most four year colleges allow students getting their Bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education to apply for teacher education programs in their sophomore year (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Admission and completion of a teacher education program with a specified number of credits is required, along with a bachelor’s degree, to become a licensed teacher. Once a person has received their bachelor’s degree, has completed the teacher education program, and has become a licensed teacher, they must meet all requirements given by the state they wish to teach in. Some of these requirements include passing a general teaching certification test, completing a master’s degree after becoming certified, and completing annual development classes to keep their license, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many skills and qualities are needed to become a teacher. In the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, the United States Department of Labor stated that “teachers must have the ability to communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand students’ educational and emotional needs.” One must also have patience, motivation, and the ability to interpret each individual child’s learning skills (“Teacher Qualities”). Love for others, a heart for learning new things, and flexibility are also qualities that teachers need to have (Rogers and McCray, interview). Many steps have to be taken to become a certified elementary teacher in today’s public school system. Although this job has minimal pay and many hours must be dedicated to it, the outlook for this occupation is very promising. The employment rate is expected to rise by seventeen percent by the year 2020. This is because of the decrease of student-teacher ratios and the increase of enrollment (Bureau of Labor Statistics). As more and more teachers retire, more job openings are available for new teachers to fill. Opportunities will be better in city and rural school districts than in schools in suburbs (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Chakinna Brewington lists in her article on elementary school wages and employment that “in 2001, there were 1,435,620 elementary school teachers and each made an annual mean wage of $43,370.” Between 2001 and 2008, the number of elementary school teachers rose by almost 65,000. In Missouri, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, teachers hold more than fifty percent of industry employment. On average, teachers earn $44,120 per year, or about two-thirds of the administrative