Are you considering a career in education? Do you wish to work where you get make positive change in the lives of others? Do you instantly connect with children? If the answer to all of the above questions is yes than perhaps you should consider the job of a primary school teacher.
Being a primary school teacher is not just limited to imparting knowledge it’s much more than that. It’s about creating a safe space for young impressionable minds to freely express themselves. It’s about maintaining an atmosphere of warmth and support.
Key skills required to become a primary school teacher
- Patience and empathy
- Sound communication and interpersonal skills
- A keen understanding of child psychology and how children learn
- The ability to think on your feet
- Strong leadership skills
- Excellent IT skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Encourages collaborative teamwork in the classroom,
- Demonstrate professional behavior, including discretion, judgment and integrity.
- A teacher must have a clear background check.
Educational Requirements for the job of a primary school teacher
To become a primary school teacher, one needs to have:
- A high school diploma or a GED
- Bachelor’s degree (ideally one that includes a teacher preparation program)
- Master’s degree specializing in education
Additionally you must also have the following training and certifications for the job of primary school teacher:
- Pass a basic skills exam and a subject area competency exam.
- Take the Praxis series exam which is held by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). Once you clear these, you can then apply to get a license for teaching.
- National Board Certification: This is considered an advanced credential and surpasses the state license.
Upon completion of all these certifications, the National Education Association provides a teacher with all the certificates and recommendation letters, which help improve one’s chances of getting a well-paid job.
Duties and responsibilities of a primary school teacher
- Teach all areas of the primary curriculum. This also includes taking responsibility for their progress
- Formulate and implement curriculum based on state-required benchmarks and standards.
- Plan and organize classrooms and other learning resources in order to create a positive learning environment.
- Prepare lesson plans and then conduct class based on these lesson plans. Part of the job of a primary teacher also includes updating these lesson plans throughout the academic year based on class progress and other various factors.
- Prepare and present lessons that cater to all the students present within the class.
- Use computers, audiovisual aids, and other materials to supplement presentations.
- The job of a primary school teacher also includes teaching and maintaining discipline in class
- Prepare and mark students’ assignments
- Keep close contact with students’ parents and liaise with them from time to time to update them about students’ progress or share students’ concerns.
- Maintain detailed files for every student. A primary school teacher must also update these files throughout the year to record the student’s progress throughout the academic year.
- Work closely with the administration to guarantee the well-being of students.
- Confer with other staff members to plan lessons hence promoting learning.
- Collaborate with colleagues of diverse backgrounds on pedagogical approaches, curricular alignment and instructional strategies.
- Promotes multiple methods in solving problems as well as identify more efficient strategies and generalizing principles to a wide variety of applications.
- Take part in weekly department meetings and multidisciplinary team meetings, training, etc.
- The job of a primary school teacher also includes participating in any ongoing training, seminars and other relevant certifications
Salary and Workload
The job of a primary school teacher typically involves working 40 hours a week. However, the working hours are mainly dependant on the school calendar. This means that a teacher will probably be working fewer hours during summers or school holidays.
While the workload may be a bit stressful but the salary of a primary school teacher is quite lucrative. A primary school teacher roughly earns $21.92 an hour and as much as $45,588 in a year. Recent statistics indicate the job of a primary school teacher is expected to grow by 3% in the next five years. Indeed, the job of a primary teacher is quite a lucrative one!