Research Project: Careers and Colleges

It is difficult for first time job hunters to have realistic ideas about how to profit from their skills. This is why it is important to investigate what career you may be interested in and what colleges will enable you to excell in that career. The profession that I am interested into going into is an elementary school teacher. Fordham University and New York University are two colleges that offer excellent elementary education programs. Throughout this report I will be discussing information related to the career as well as information dealing with the colleges. Career: Elementary School Teacher Work Description School teachers at the elementary level introduce children to the basic concepts of mathematics, language, science, and social studies. They aid children in the development of good study and work habits and help them aquire the skills necessary for further education. They evaluate each child and work with parents to provide whatever help a child may need to develop his or her full potential. Elementary school teachers are also concerned with the social development and health of their students. They work to resolve behavior or personality problems and are alert to health problems or illness. In these early years, teachers try to give students as much individual attention as possible. Elementary school teachers usually instruct one class of children in several subjects. They are occupied directly with children for most of the school day, although they also prepare lessons, meet with parents, attend faculty meetings, and supervise activities after school. Working Conditions Seeing students develop new skills and gain an appreciation of knowledge and learningn can be very rewarding. However, teaching may be frustrating when the teacher has to deal with unmotivated and disrespectful students. Teachers may also expeirience stress when dealing with large classes and heavy workloads. Teachers face isolation from their colleagues since they often work alone in a classroom of students. However, this autonomy provides teachers with freedom to choose there own teaching methods. Including school duties performed outside the classroom, many teachers work more than 40 hours a week. Most teachers work the traditional 10-month school year with a 2-month vacation during the summer. Teachers who teach 10 months may teach in the summer, take other jobs, travel, or persue other personal interests. Many inroll in college course or workshops to continue their education. Teachers in districts with a year-round schedule usually work 8 weeks, and are on vacation for 1 week, and have a 5-week midwinter. Places of Employment Elementary teahcers work in every geographic area. They work in cities and towns of all sizes and in rural areas throughout the United States. Elementay school teachers generally work in elementary schools. The grades in elementary schools vary but many schools consist of kindergaten through fifth grade. Although it changes from state to state, the elementary level usually includes kindergaten through sixth grade. Education and Training All states and the District of Columbia require that elementary school teachers in the public schools be certified by the state board of education, the state superintendent of eduaction, or a certification advisory commitee. The general prerequisites are a bachelorís degree, completion of an approved teacher education program, and a period of supervised teacher education program. Many states require a certain grade point average in education courses before granting certification. Certification may also be specific to the level being taught or it may be specific to a specialization. Many teacher education programs include courses in the psychology of learning, child development, and teaching methods. Thirty-five ststes test basic skills, teaching skills, or specific subject matters for those seeking certification, and almost all require continuing certification for recertification. Teachers can also earn regional or national accreditation, the lattter granted by the National Council for Accreditation of Teaching Education (NCATE). Teachers in private schools are not generally required to take a teacherís education program, and private schools often do not require the bachelorís degree. Job Outlook In 1986 there were more than 1.5 million elementary school teachers for about 30 million students in classes from kindergarten through the eigth grade. More than 80 percent work in the oublic school system and teach in schools with classes from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Through the