How to Study to Become a Primary School Teacher


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Becoming a primary or elementary school teacher requires patience and dedication. Primary school teachers work with young children during their most impressionable years and prepare them for more advanced studies later on. The education that children obtain during elementary school can last a lifetime. Studying to become an elementary school teacher involves a variety of different types of coursework that includes reading, writing and math; it also includes studies in physical education and in creative fields like art and music.

    Gain a broad understanding of a variety of different academic fields by completing your general education requirements. Regardless of where you decide to pursue your degree, you will have to complete courses during your firs two years of study that cover a broad range of academic disciplines. Even though these are not specific to your major (all students have to complete these), these courses are especially important for primary school teachers to study. Elementary school teachers usually teach one class of students a variety of subjects such as math, science, reading and writing. Knowing as much about these disciplines as possible will help you in your career as a teacher.

    Complete your elementary education courses that are required by your college or university. Schools develop their curriculum in education to provide you with a successful foundation upon which you can build as you teach. Many of the required courses that you will study will be in the areas of teaching theory, classroom management, child psychology and legal and ethical issues in education.

    Take elective courses in areas that supplement your intention to become a teacher. Nearly every degree program has anywhere from three to five courses, known as electives, that are courses you can simply choose to take based on your interest in the subject. Rather than taking a bunch of random courses, however, take courses that will assist you in your quest to become an elementary school teacher. For instance, if your degree program does not require a course in teaching art to children, you can take a course in that area to increase creative activities in your classroom.

    Download and review the study guides for your state’s certification exams. All the hard work you put into to becoming an elementary school teacher will be wasted if you don’t pass your certification exams. Each state has its own requirements as to how many of these you will need to take, so check with your state board of education before proceeding. You can begin studying for these before you ever finish your degree program by simply downloading and printing the study guide. For instance, Oklahoma offers study guides for three different types of exams that are required to teach in Oklahoma. Familiarizing yourself with the information early and often will alleviate any test anxiety the day you sit for the exam.

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