Education by definition is an enlightening experience. Most of people’s education generally is introduced to them by their teachers. Teachers are so important to society and the impact they have on so many young minds is truly unbelievable. People are very familiar with teachers and what they do but few are actually aware of what it takes to be a teacher. To be a teacher it takes a certain level of education, it takes a certain personality, and it takes a certain commitment to impact students in a positive way.
In order to be an elementary school teacher, it takes multiple steps in the education process to qualify. All states require public elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (“Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers”). In California, for example, one would get their degree in liberal studies, which will provide a quality, broad- based education for a future teacher. This is necessary because elementary school teachers are expected to teach such an expansive range of
subjects. In addition to subject material, their degree teaches them how to “present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds” (“Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers”). After earning a four-year bachelor’s degree, all states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. In order to achieve this, teachers must complete a “teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching” (“Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers”). This is usually achieved by student-teaching, where the student is in the classroom of another teacher who mentors them while they work closely with the students and teach lessons of their own. To be certified in the state of California, teachers must obtain the “multiple subject teaching credential” (“California Teacher Certification and Licensing Guide 2017”). Earning both the bachelor’s degree and the credential or license takes four to five years based on the program of the college of attendance. Doing both of these things completes the educational requirements to become a teacher.
The second thing that it takes to be an elementary school teacher is a certain personality with certain qualities. It takes a special person to be a teacher, someone that can inspire and make a lasting impression. Qualities that make a good teacher include empathy, enthusiasm, creativity, dedication, and discipline (“Teacher Personality.”). Students turn to teachers during tough times or even when they don’t ask for it, teachers need to be “sensitive to their students’ needs” whether that be educational or in their personal lives (“Teacher Personality.”). Enthusiasm is one of the most important qualities because no teacher can be great without loving what they do and if a teacher isn’t excited about the material at hand, the students will not be either (“Teacher Personality.”). Another quality that makes a teacher is creativity. By utilizing creativity teachers captivate students and make a lasting impression in their education. Dedication is important in almost any profession but especially in teaching. As a teacher, they have good days and bad days but it is important to stay dedicated to their job even on the bad days because children’s education is at stake and “a good teacher never gives up” (“Teacher Personality.”). Finally, a good teacher needs discipline. As a teacher, it is hard when not everyone likes them and of course everyone wants to be liked. However, it is necessary to “impose rules and make demands of their students, but in a way that is not intimidating” (“Teacher Personality.”). Teachers are very important and can impact many students lives so it is important that they are the best teacher possible. These five personality traits will not make a perfect teacher, because there is no such thing, however having these qualities will help ensure that the children are getting the best education possible.
Finally, the most important thing it takes to be a teacher is to be able to impact students in a positive way. Teachers are some of children’s first role models whether they realize it or not, so when someone decides to become a teacher they are deciding to take on that responsibility. It has been well established that the quality of children’s relationships with their teachers has an impact on their future academic and behavioral adjustments (Hughes). According to studies, “students who enjoy a close and supportive relationship with a teacher are more engaged in that they work harder in the classroom, persevere in the face of difficulties, accept teacher direction and criticism, cope better with stress, and attend more to the teacher” (Hughes). This means that students are greatly impacted by their teachers and the relationships they have with them. Being a teacher means shaping students’ minds in the classroom and even in ways not intended through the curriculum. The student-teacher relationship can affect children in a positive or a negative way depending on the relationship. For example, in a study it was found that high levels of conflict between and teacher and her male students in kindergarten were related to poorer math and reading skills in future grades (Hamre). In the same study it was also found that girls who had a close relationship with their kindergarten teacher tended to have more positive work habits and fewer disciplinary actions (Hamre). All in all, elementary school teachers impact students’ future academic careers greatly and in order to be a teacher, it is necessary that teachers are committed to making each relationship with their students positive in order to help them reach their full potential.
All in all, it takes a lot to be a teacher. Working with children is a big responsibility and it takes a certain person to take on that profession. Before even being able to work in a classroom with their students, teachers must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree and then also complete their credential program that prepares them to teach young children. Besides being educationally prepared, it takes a certain personality to become a teacher. These qualities include empathy, enthusiasm, creativity, dedication, and discipline. All of these qualities include what it takes to be a teacher and shape the minds of many young children. Lastly, to be a teacher it takes the commitment to the job to impact their students. Students are directly impacted by the relationships they have with their teachers and their commitment to their job is what really matters. It truly takes a special person to be a teacher and make a difference in the world one child at a time.
“California Teacher Certification and Licensing Guide 2017.” Teacher Certification Degrees, 2017 Teacher Certification Degrees, http://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/certification/california/. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
This source explains how to become a teacher as far as certifications specifically for California. It includes the California teacher education requirements for each type of teaching level including elementary. The source also states the testing requirements and the California teacher salaries and jobs. I am using it in my report in the paragraph where I talk about the education of a teacher. I thought this would be important because it because they list all of their references at the bottom of the page and those references are reliable.
Hamre, Bridget K, and Robert P Pianta. “Early Teacher – Child Relationships and the Trajectory of Children’s School Outcomes through Eighth Grade.” Child Development, vol. 72, no.2, 2001, pp. 625–638., greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/Hamre__Pianta_2003.pdf. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
This source is a study that looks at the relationship between kindergarten students and their teachers and the impact on the children’s school outcomes academically and behaviorally. The study showed that the student- teacher relationship in early childhood development is very important and that the stronger and more positive the relationships they had, the better off the students were in their future schooling. In my report, I use specific examples of the results of the study to support my thesis that the student-teacher relationship in young children has a big impact on students. Teachers have a big responsibility of being students’ role models and it is proven here that commitment to individual students is imperative. This is a reliable source because it is an academic study published in a journal. I found this source on google scholar which took me to an academic database where the study was published.
Hughes, Jan, and Oi-man Kwok. “Influence of Student–Teacher and Parent–Teacher Relationships on Lower Achieving Readers’ Engagement and Achievement in the Primary Grades.” Journal of Educational Psychology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2007, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2140005/. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
This source is another study of how student-teacher relationships affect the engagement and achievement of students primarily focusing on elementary school students. The study found that the relationships indeed are impacted in students’ education as long as up to eight years later. The study also showed that a close student-teacher relationship causes students to be more engaged in the classroom and have more positive effects on their education. In my paper I use this to support my thesis that it is necessary to maintain a positive relationship between teachers and students, especially in the lower grades. I think this source is very reliable because it is published in an academic journal and database. I found this source on google scholar and the Journal of Educational Psychology is a very reliable source and it is a more recently published study which just proves that the research has not changed over time.
“Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
This website gives information on how to become a teacher and what education is necessary. This source talks about how to become a teacher on a national level and does not give any specifications for each state and how they differ. It also gives a summary of what teachers do, the work environment, pay, job outlook, and more. I used this in my essay to give insight on what it takes to become a teacher as far as education and what degrees, certificates, and training is necessary to be qualified. This source is very reliable because it comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which comes from the government. It is very informational and useful for my essay.
“Teacher Personality.” Teacher Personality, 2U Inc., 2017, teach.com/who/great-teachers-have- personality/. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.
This website is very similar to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the sense that it gives out a large amount of general information about the teaching profession, how to become a teacher, why people teach, who teaches, where you can teach, and what teachers do. It goes into depth on teacher personalities and what type of person it takes to be a great teacher. With each of the personality characteristics it lists, it details why each trait is important to being a teacher and how it can make a great teacher. I used this in my paper to show that it takes a certain person with a certain personality to become a teacher. By listing each personality trait and explaining it, it shows that not everyone has all of these traits and not anyone can be a teacher. I think this source is fairly reliable. Although it is a “.com” much of the information put on this website is by experts in the field of teaching.