Working with tots to teens
While you need particular certification to teach the different levels that are covered by kindergarten to grade 12 (teacher education is specific to kindergarten teachers, elementary school teachers, junior secondary and senior secondary teachers), after you've completed your teacher education you'll find that there are a ton of opportunities out there for fun and exciting jobs.
To qualify as a teacher you must have a Bachelor's Degree as well as a teaching certificate. While the training may take longer than in other industries, if you enjoy working with children you'll find the perfect career in a teaching position.
An Important Job
Teaching is one of the most important and fulfilling jobs available. Regardless of the grade you choose to teach, you'll find yourself acting as a vital tool in the development of your students. You're not simply teaching them the basics of literacy, math and history - you're giving them a foundation on which to build their sense of self and their attitude toward learning. You may even find yourself the person who influences a student into a certain career path!
A teacher is an instructor, a mentor, a friend and a confidante.
What to Expect
The day-to-day life of teachers depends on the school boards they work for, the schools they teach in and the grades and subjects they teach. There are a number of choices to be made when you're selecting your position, which will influence how your class is run and what is expected of you:
- Public vs. private school
- Early vs. later years
- Urban vs. rural
- Specialized vs. general
Everything from the size of the class, gender of the students, grading expectations and level of instruction, extracurricular activities and pay scale is dependent on these variables. This means that it's difficult to define 'typical' kindergarten to grade 12 teachers.
While the profession will most often offer a very specific and personalized experience, there are some general statistics that can help you decide if you're interested in teaching this age group:
- If you lack teacher training there is state certification available;
- Elementary schools offer more opportunity for jobs than the higher or lower levels;
- The job market is lucrative as the majority of teachers will soon be retiring and there exists a high turnover of teachers in more urban areas;
- The state is primarily responsible for the education sector budget;
- Public school teachers tend to earn more than private school teachers;
- Most teachers are unionized;
- Increased education (i.e. a Master's Degree or PhD) significantly increases salary opportunities, as does a specialty in languages and a willingness to organize, supervise and maintain extracurricular activities.