How to Become a Primary School Teacher

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In the United States., there are over 1.5 million grade school teachers who teach over 38 million children. The average U.S. school teacher earns an annual income of $50,090. Creating a career as a primary school teacher can be both economically lucrative and rewarding. Besides the financial returns, some primary school teachers cite the intangible, emotional rewards that they experience working with children. However, working as a school teacher is not for everyone. Learning how to become a primary school teacher can help you decide whether being a school teacher is the right career choice for you.

1 Check the primary school teacher

Check the primary school teacher certification requirements for the U.S. state in which you wish to teach. All teachers must be certified by their state Department of Education before they can be hired by a school. Every state has unique certification requirements. See the link in the Resources section for the certification requirements of all 50 states.

2 Earn a Bachelor of Education degree

Earn a Bachelor of Education degree (BEd). This college-level degree is required by all states for teacher certification. A BEd is divided into separate streams that focus on the grade-level in which you wish to teach. Check with your state Department of Education to determine whether you need additional degrees or experience before applying for a teaching position in your state.

3 Create a teaching portfolio

Create a teaching portfolio. A teaching portfolio functions like a traditional, professional portfolio. It will give potential employers background information regarding your educational experience, as well as how well you work with children. See the link in the Resources section for a checklist on building a proper teaching portfolio.

4 Search

Search for open teaching positions in the state in which you are accredited. Open teaching positions may be located in newspaper classified ads, or online on educational career websites such as Available teaching positions can also be located by contacting local public schools and private schools in your area.

5 Apply for a teaching position

Apply for a teaching position.

  • Create a paper resume using professional software to make a good impression. Plan ahead and volunteer in community service positions that give you experience working with children.

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.