What is a K12 teacher? K12 refers to educational technology in countries like the United States. It’s a short form for publicly supported school grades before an individual gets to college. The grades are kindergarten (K) level, then there’s the 1st grade through to the 12th-grade level. So basically, a person who teaches these levels of education is a K-12 teacher.
You must have a degree designation that corresponds to the grade level they intend to teach. The grade levels are usually divided into four areas:
- Early childhood
- Elementary school
- Middle grades
- High school
Teachers in these levels use a variety of methods and materials to communicate ideas. They handle diverse groups of students, educating them in core subjects. They’re also tasked with guiding them.
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Advantages of Continuing Education Throughout a Teacher’s Career
Teaching is a highly prized profession. It’s a career where you’re constantly exposed to knowledge. Most importantly, you get to share knowledge with other students. But remember that despite being highly qualified, you must stay updated. Otherwise, you’ll suffer setbacks.
Investing in continuing education by taking advantage of advanced courses is crucial. It enables you to get teacher recertification credits that give you an advantage in today’s competitive job market. It enables you to sharpen your skills and become more in-depth in your career.
Before joining continuing education for teachers, you must ensure you know the benefits. Some of the benefits include:
- Earning 3 graduate-level semester credits.
- Advanced courses increase your marketability.
- Online courses for teachers are affordable and practical.
- Classes for teachers can be attended from any place and at any time.
- They open up new doors for your career in the future. Teacher recertification courses enhance your skills. They also contribute to better remuneration.
With the internet revolution, the demand for online graduate courses for teachers has increased. There are online institutes that offer high-quality training at an affordable cost.
Qualifications to Become A K12 Teacher
Teaching and playing a part in a child’s education makes the profession a very rewarding career. Most people get into this profession to make a difference in their communities.
They also do it to inspire future generations. But it takes hard work and dedication. So what are the qualifications?
- Educational Requirements
All public school teachers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in education. A bachelor’s degree in a field they intend to teach is also acceptable. You’ll also be required to have a teacher’s license. For private school teachers, you must have a bachelor’s degree. Some institutions or states will expect you to have a higher educational qualification.
Elementary school teachers are tasked with instructing students in various subjects. This includes language arts, mathematics, and social studies. For this reason, you must take classes and learn how to teach multiple subjects. You must also learn and be prepared on how to interact with young children.
To interact with young children, K12 teachers are taught about:
- Child psychology
- Curriculum design
- Child development
- Literacy instructions
Unlike elementary school teachers, middle school and high school teachers focus on fewer subjects. But you must also specialize in the subjects you intend to teach.
- Classroom Experience
K12 teachers must have real classroom experience. It’s one of the qualifications to get a full-time teaching job. On-the-job training enables them to work with students on a one-on-one basis. They also get to observe experienced teachers running a classroom.
A lot of teaching degree programs require you to complete your fieldwork off-campus. The number of in-the-classroom hours needed is decided by the state and degree program.
- State Licensure
K12 teachers in public schools must be licensed in the state they intend to teach. For private schools, teachers aren’t required to have a teaching license. State requirements for K-12 teaching licenses are different, but here are the common ones:
- A bachelor’s degree.
- A supervised teaching experience.
- Completion of a teacher education program.
- Doing well in a test for writing and math skills.
Some K12 teachers obtain the National Board Certification. This is an advanced teaching credential provided by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. But note that this certification doesn’t replace the state teaching license. It only complements it.
The grade level a teacher intends to teach determines the credentials required. Some teaching positions will only require single-subject credentials. Others will require multiple-subject credentials.
You may be intending to teach elementary school science and physical education. In such a case, you might be required to have multiple-subject credentials. To confirm this, you’ll have to check with the school district you’d like to work for.
- A Second Career in Teaching
A lot of people are turning to teaching after working in other fields for many years. To accommodate such professionals, some institutions provide an alternative certification. Others offer licensure programs for professionals with a bachelor’s degree that’s geared towards teaching.
These programs last for up to two years. While taking classes, you will be allowed to work as a teacher but under supervision. You will also undergo extensive education and assessment. But at the end of the program, many people are happy they switched to teaching.
Careers in K12 Teacher Education
Graduate courses in K12 education programs bring a lot of employment opportunities. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, elementary, middle school, and kindergarten teachers should expect a 12 percent growth in employment by the end of 2022. It’s estimated that the best opportunities will be in urban and rural areas.
When it comes to salaries, the pay varies by geographic location. Generally, your pay will increase at regular intervals based on your education. It’s also determined by your years of experience in the field. Your pursuit of a master’s degree or a doctorate may increase your pay during your career.
Final Take Away
Hopefully, we have helped you to understand the value of furthering your studies. In reality, gaining new certifications and training experiences is crucial if you want to stay competitive in this field.
Apart from staying competitive, it will help to increase your income. And let’s face it, that’s a necessary part of success. Prioritize continuing with your education if you want to reap the benefits that come with it.