How to Get a Job as an Elementary School Teacher
Van Roekel says the hiring process is usually comprised of three steps. "The first step consists of either the submission of a formal application to the district or an initial interview at one of many college job fairs across the country," he says. "The second step generally is a formal interview with the district human resources office. The third step is often an additional interview with the school principal," or the school's hiring committee. However, distinguishing yourself with potential employers starts well before the application process. "Aspiring teachers can set themselves apart by gaining additional state certification for all elementary school levels," he says. Possessing knowledge or certification in special education, as well as bilingual education, can set an applicant apart from the competition.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Elementary School Teachers
"What do you plan to bring to this school that is different?" - Escambia County Elementary School Teacher Candidate (Pensacola, FL)
"What would you do if you didn't agree with the classroom management technique required by your principal?" - Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Elementary School Teacher Candidate (Nashville, TN)
"What is your philosophy of education?" - Hillsborough County Public Schools Elementary School Teacher (Location Unknown)
What is the Job Like?
Elementary school teachers can experience a high level of stress. However, this is largely dependent on the working conditions, size of the class, and experience. Veteran educators are able to establish a routine since they usually have prior lesson plans to fall back on. But newer teachers may struggle with the isolation from their colleagues in the classroom, the burden of engineering their own lesson plans, and the additional levels of communication between administrators and parents. In theory, the classroom is your kingdom. That said, elementary school teachers are given a set curriculum that they must impart to their students. However, the manner in which they educate their students is largely their decision. Administrators will usually grant more liberties to teachers with more experience. The profession lacks the automatic promoting structure that other occupations enjoy. In fact, educators can teach the same grade level for many years, even decades. More elevated positions are frequently in the administration, which removes teachers from the classroom. Such promotions usually require a graduate degree in education or administration.
Real Reviews From Elementary School Teachers
+ "You receive good pay for a first year teacher, you get to work with children that really need your help." - Indianapolis Public Schools Elementary School Teacher (Indianapolis, IN)
+ "The other teachers are very supportive of one another and are a wonderful resource, great initial school culture training at the beginning of the year." - Lighthouse Academies Elementary School Teacher (Jacksonville, AR)
- "You have to be a psychologist, a mediator and a parent all the time. The stress is very high because the rewards are not there. There are no quarterly bonuses, or yearend bonuses, they simply don't exist. There is no reward except for a piece of paper that states "Recognition for a job well done!" - New York City Department of Education Elementary Teacher (New York, NY)
- "As in all teaching positions, you are not really compensated or promoted for excelling, but you will be praised and appreciated." - Arlington Public Schools Elementary Teacher (Arlington, VA)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.