Students who enroll in a program to earn their online certificate in elementary education will typically already have a bachelor's degree but now want to earn state licensure to teach in public schools. Common courses include classroom management and assessment, reading and language arts, literacy, teaching practice, elementary science, elementary mathematics and curriculum develop. Students will also need to ensure they have a proper foundation in the core subject area or areas they wish to teach; otherwise, supplementary course work may be required.
If you are interested in earning an online certificate in elementary education, you will find a growing number of flexible options. Most online schools feature an asynchronous curriculum, which means students do not have to attend class at a specified time. This allows working students, busy parents or those with limited travel options, the ability to pursue their teaching certificate. Classes cover subjects like classroom management, teaching practice, learning psychology, educational assessment and evaluation, literacy, reading and language arts, elementary science, elementary mathematics and curriculum design.
In most cases, students can earn their teaching certificate in elementary education in less than one year. Factors such as how many classes you opt to take at once, the specific number of credits required for the program, any breaks from the program and how long it takes complete your student teaching requirements will all influence completion time. Despite the lack of face-to-face instruction and in-person collaboration with peers, students can still work on group projects or presentations through the use of web conferencing, chat and streaming video technology. Professors will also use e-mail and the virtual learning platform to provide feedback for online students.
What’s Next for Elementary Education Certificate Holders?
Once students earn their certificate and receive appropriate licensure as outlined by their state, they are eligible to pursue jobs as teachers in both public and private elementary schools. For those interested in working in school administration or curriculum development, a master’s could be necessary; though gaining some classroom experience first is often beneficial. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the demand for elementary school teachers should increase by 6% over the projection period of 2014 to 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations during this time is estimated at 7%.
The mean annual salary reported for elementary school teachers as of 2014 was $56,830. Keep in mind that these statistics are only estimates. Actual pay and job openings will vary based on your location, level of experience, the economic climate, and the specific position and employer.