English 12/ Per. 3
1 December 2014
Elementary School Teaching
Why is elementary teaching important? What skills do you need to become an elementary school teacher? What is the typical workday for an elementary school teacher? A teacher is a person who educates and nurtures children, teenagers, and young adults into adulthood. They help children learn how to use different activities to accomplish this task. A teacher is also a person who provides the student with knowledge of life. They must have patience, understanding and creativity. Teachers prepare their students for their future jobs or professions (Webster's 1). The career of an elementary school teacher requires a love of children, and enjoyment being surrounded by them. Teaching provides an environment for an educator to stimulate student's minds by being creative and developing a fun learning environment. Grade school teaching is a challenging profession, which requires a number of years of education and hours of daily preparation. Teachers usually make difference in young lives, which requires patience, dedication, knowledge and hard work. “Teachers are well prepared by taking courses in math, history, English, science, sociology, arts, child psychology or development. A major in elementary education usually means five-years of studies. A bachelor's degree in education along with specific teaching courses is required for elementary school teachers.” (Sally Wakefield) They usually have to pass and experience a semester student teaching also. “Many future teachers decide to start working with children as soon as possible. They volunteer at local elementary schools or with youth groups in their area, but often travel abroad to work with small children, help in kindergartens or just teach a foreign language to local pupils” (Sally Wakefield) I am an after school teacher at Phoenix Elementary School and have my own group of Kindergarteners. Those children inspire me and make me want to be apart of their growth into the clever, imaginative individual they will soon be. I hope to inspire my students, as my teachers did to me, by guiding them to discover their unique strengths and abilities. I aspire to see the satisfaction in the eyes of my students after the successful accomplishment of a challenging task. Teachers face every-day situations where lack of materials or chances to work more with lower performing students restrains progress in the classroom. While speaking with a current fourth grade teacher, Jinny Vroom, I learned some techniques that would help to individualize learning in the classroom. “Through assessments and observations I can realize strengths and areas of need. If someone is slower in math I do not have him/her do the whole page. I have him/her do the even or odd problems. I pair students with each other where one can help with one having difficulty. I sometimes have to change what expectations are in writing, I scale the rubric differently for those who have not yet mastered certain writing skills. The more they do it the more it becomes natural. Also, I write big on the board for those who need more visuals.”
Elementary school teachers are often a combination of teacher, mother, nurse and counselor. They work with students usually, between 6 and 11 years old, which may involve a large number of accidents, such as loosing teeth and early teen-problems. Teachers have to be able to respond to all of these stages of development. They need to know all the time how to communicate with their students. Also, teachers shall be able to communicate well with each other and with the administrative staff of the school.
Schoolteachers prepare for every class and by writing a lesson plan. The plan allows teachers to achieve their main goal – measurable student learning. “The plan contains the lesson objectives, which are in line with the education standards in the country. A teacher situates the plan in the context of her or his students' knowledge. He or she knows exactly how they will present the lesson's concepts to the students. The children are always given an opportunity to take part in the lesson and apply the skills they have learned.” (experience.com) “Teaching at elementary school may require the use of a multiple intelligences method. The method describes the human intelligence by eight main ideas – children and people are body smart, word smart, number smart, people smart, art smart, self smart, music smart and nature smart. Then, when pupils learn history, for example, they may sing songs, draw pictures, and go to school dressed as the people they are studying for. They are taught via activities, which develop and use their specific talents. When it is time for an exam, pupils are able to recall what they have studied as the knowledge is deeply ingrained.” (Sally Wakefield) The theory of multiple intelligences, which was proposed by Harvard education professor Howard Gardner, suggests that there are different approaches to find how students learn and understand concepts and abstract ideas. The approaches suggested by the method have practical value in the classroom. Hence, children who have problems with math could learn to multiply, for instance, using a different approach or may have intelligence which will allow them to develop in other fields or may simply be looking at and understanding the processes at a deeper level. The method suggests that a child who has no problems with addition and subtraction is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has difficulties with math. I’ve learned from my experience working at Phoenix, and by shadowing grade school teachers that the career of an elementary school teacher requires a love for children, and someone who enjoys being surrounded by them. The elementary teacher is involved with many student activities, not just the classroom. Education is an important role in a student’s life and that is a big responsibility to take on. Someone with good communication skills and creative ideas would be good as a teacher. Teachers need to have strong leadership skills and an abundance of patience. They must work well with students, staff and parents. Teachers need to have organizational and management skills to be able to handle the tasks that they must complete each day. Being an Elementary School Teacher will help shape education, social and moral development of children. Elementary school is where the academic careers of most students begin. Teachers are needed to instruct social skills along with general school subjects. “You can encourage students to behave and participate. As a teacher, you will have to prepare daily lesson plans and assignments. It will also include grading papers and tests.” (Rhonda Short)
Elementary teachers play an important part in not only the intellectual development but also the social development of their students. I believe that teaching can be one of the most fulfilling roles in life. Becoming a teacher is a passion that flows deeply through my heart and soul.
"Experience™ by Symplicity | Entry Level Jobs for College Students and Recent Graduates." Experience by Symplicity Entry Level Jobs for College Students and Recent Graduates. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014. Gardner, Howard. "Gardner's Multiple Intelligences." Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.
Short, Rhonda. "Being a Teacher." Personal interview. 16 Nov. 2014. Vroom, Jinny. "Elementary Teaching." Personal interview. 23 Oct. 2014. Wakefield, Sally. "Write Better Papers, Faster!" |Online Research Library: Questia. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.