An Overview of Online Programs in Elementary Education

Online education has seen vast improvements over the years. With more available majors and interactive technology, earning your degree online has never been more convenient. Unlike traditional programs, you can earn your degree at your own pace. This is an ideal option for working professionals and those with families. Explore the links below to learn more about pursuing your elementary education degree online.

Getting your degree online is a great way to start your career as a teacher. When you graduate, you can rest easy knowing that you can use your skills no matter where you live. Since teachers are always needed, it makes sense that (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS) the demand for elementary school teachers is expected to steadily grow 12 percent by 2022. The graph below breaks down the elementary education careers slightly and compares the national salaries for each as of 2012.

BLS 2012 Elementary Teacher Salary

Source: U.S. BLS – Employment Program

While location is not a major factor when referring to teacher employment, it does have some affect on your potential salary. New York, Alaska, Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts are the top five highest-paying states for elementary school teachers.

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Additional Requirements for Becoming A Teacher

Yes, no matter where you live you will most likely be able to find an elementary teaching position. However, the qualifications that will allow you to teach do vary with each state. The differences really only apply to latter portion of your education process. Before you begin researching individual states’ testing requirements for teaching certifications and licenses, you will need a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. There are plenty of these bachelor’s programs available online. These programs will focus heavily on teaching the cornerstones of education such as math, science, English, history, and social studies. Some educational institutions do offer degree programs that allow you to specialize in one of those subjects, giving you the opportunity to narrow your focus. Other topics that you can expect to discuss are:

  • Teacher Education Foundations
  • Classroom Management
  • Educational Psychology
  • Children’s Literature
  • Student Teaching Seminar/Practicum

Before you can obtain your baccalaureate degree, you will need to complete a certain amount of hours as a student teacher, also sometimes referred to as a teaching assistant. The amount of hours varies with each degree program, and you may need additional hours should you move to another state. Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you can pursue one of two options. You can either go on to pursue your master’s degree, or go straight to the licensing/certification process. Make sure that whichever college or university that you decide to attend has an accredited program that will adequately prepare you for your teaching license/certification exams.

Many schools offer accelerated graduate and professional degree programs for those who have completed their bachelor’s and gained a valid teaching certificate or license. While a master’s is not typically a requirement to teach at the elementary level, it will give you a deeper understanding of child behavior. You will also learn more about classroom management and teaching techniques, both generally and for specific subjects. There are teaching certificates and licenses that you can earn after graduating from a bachelor’s degree program, and others that you can receive after the completion of a graduate program. The amount and type of license/certificate that you will need varies from state-to-state.

Programs Related to Elementary Education

EducatorA bachelor’s degree in elementary education will specifically equip you with the skills to teach students from the kindergarten to the 8th grade-level. During your undergraduate years, you can either pursue an elementary degree alone or choose to double-major or have a minor that includes any of the subjects listed below, in addition to elementary education. Any of these routes will adequately prepare you for a master’s degree, which will allow you to study these different avenues of education in greater depth and increase your future career options.

  • Adolescent Education: Your studies will focus on teaching grades 7-12. There will be an emphasis on preventing and intervening bullying and harassment as well as the psychological developments of adolescents. At the master’s level, you can choose to learn how to teach a specific subject like math or English.
  • Child Development: This program will discuss child health, nutrition, and safety. You will be given the tools to assess the cognitive and physical development of children, and learn how to interact with those who have special needs. This degree can prepare you for a career in education, public policy administration, psychology, or social services.
  • Early Childhood Education: With this degree, you will be qualified to teach students at the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten level. The curriculum in this program will emphasize teaching styles that best complement infant and childhood development.
  • Education Administration: A master’s in education administration will qualify you to become a principal of a k-12 educational institution. You will learn how to successfully balance the management of the school’s employees, students, and facilities, while interacting with the parents and the community.
  • General Education: Due to its broad nature, this degree will prepare to teach in a variety of settings outside of a traditional school classroom. You can decide to focus on either children or adults in many of the online bachelor’s programs available. Being able to teach adult students allows you to work in the business sector and possibly even teach English to non-native speakers.
  • K-12 Education: Many of these programs are available online and caters to those who are actively teaching in an elementary or k-12 school. This is typically offered as a master’s degree. You will have the opportunity to improve your teaching skills, and many programs give you the option to pick a concentration such as classroom management, STEM, and educational technology.
  • Special Education: Once you have graduated from this program, you will know how to adapt your teaching style to best accommodate the needs of special students. Special educational is a broad category, and masters (and some bachelors) programs will allow you to narrow your focus to cater a specific population. Common degree concentrations for this program include teaching those with behavioral, intellectual, or physical impairments.

Working as a teacher is an extremely rewarding experience. An elementary education degree prepares you to influence and inspire young minds, helping them become successful adults. Pursuing your degree online allows you to have greater flexibility, giving you the power to take classes and complete coursework around your schedule. Explore the rest of our website to discover more about online elementary education degree programs, and find one that is right for you.