K-8th Grade Teacher

Shaping Young Minds through Primary Education

Ask anybody about their first memory of school and it’s most likely going to occur from Kindergarten till the 8th grade. This is the time period where children develop the majority of their educational, personal, emotional and physical habits. And it’s due to these facts that primary education is so critical to the overall development of our future generations. The passionate people tasked with providing structure to our future leaders are kindergarten through 8th grade teachers. Learn how to become a teacher in these grades with detailed career and educational advice from real teachers that have navigated this path to become outstanding teachers today.

K-8th Grade Teacher

Most people remember their first day of kindergarten forever, and it is no surprise. Kindergarten typically marks the beginning of a student’s formal schooling. For this reason, kindergarten teachers play an especially important role in young people’s lives. For children who have not already attended a preschool, their kindergarten teacher may be the first person outside their close family with whom they develop a sustained relationship.
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Middle school teachers, also known as junior high school teachers, are charged with the education of students in grades six through eight. With middle school students undergoing substantial physical and intellectual changes, being a teacher at this level entails more than delivering a state-mandated curriculum.
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For many years, educators have recognized the value of physical education. In Plato’s Republic, readers are given detailed instructions on what a physical education should entail, and why it is important. Indeed, today’s “gym,” which is the place where physical education typically takes place, comes from the ancient concept of gymnasium, which was used to describe a gymnastics school or place of physical training. While it may be difficult to imagine Plato as a physical education teacher, there is no question that physical education, alongside philosophy, is one of the world’s oldest disciplines.
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If you love children and recognize the value of early learning, there is a growing demand for preschool teachers across the United States. Growth in the preschool teaching field can be attributed to two factors. First, the number of preschool-age children is on the rise. Second, there is a growing recognition of the short- and long-term benefits of preschool education. Both are leading municipal and state governments to invest in preschool education at an unprecedented level.
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By definition, a substitute teacher is someone who fills in for a regular teacher when the teacher is sick, on leave, or engaging in a professional development activity. While substitute teachers frequently only spend a day or two in a classroom before moving on to a new classroom or a new school, in the case of parental leaves, they may take over a class for six to eight weeks, or longer.
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In other words, teaching English to non-native speakers requires a high level of proficiency in English, a superior understanding of English-language grammar, and the ability to explain the language’s many and often perplexing rules. For those up to the challenge, however, there are many job prospects in the U.S. and abroad.
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When most of us recall our first memories of school; it's often during the elementary years. Elementary school teachers are usually charged with the education of students in grades one through five. In some districts, elementary schools also include grade six and in the private school system, they may only go up to grade four.
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Every September, first grade teachers are faced with one of the world’s greatest challenges — a room full of students who often can only read and write a word or two, and in some cases, can’t read or write at all. By June, if everything goes as planned, first grade teachers have thirty or more children reading short books and writing basic sentences on their own. Given that learning to read and write is the most critical skill one learns during the course of their education, the importance of first grade teachers cannot be overstated.
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Second grade is generally known as a year to reinforce concepts and skills introduced during first grade. As a result, second grade teachers spend a great deal of time evaluating students to ensure they are reaching all the benchmarks required for their grade level, and either intervening to bring students up to speed, or reinforcing and further developing core literacy and numeracy skills.
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By third grade, most students have mastered the basic skills they need to start investigating new concepts on their own across the entire third grade curriculum. Now eight to nine years old, third grade students are often highly inquisitive, creative and energetic, and respond best to teachers who enjoy working with a demographic on the threshold of discovering the world beyond picture books.
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By the beginning of fourth grade, most students know at least some of their multiplication tables. By the end of the year, however, they are expected to have a full mastery of basic multiplication. Deploying any number of strategies—from rote learning and games, to reward-based methods—fourth grade teachers work with students to ensure they know their multiplication tables from 0 to 12 by the end of the year.
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Fifth grade may be the end of elementary school, but it is also a year when students are preparing to enter middle school. As a result, fifth grade teachers are also expected to help students further develop their organizational skills. After all, by sixth-grade, they will no longer be able to store all their books and pencils in a desk, but will be going from class to class, and possibly have a different teacher for each subject.
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In sixth grade, students enter the new and complex world of middle school for the first time. This means that they no longer spend all day in a single classroom with one teacher. Beyond homeroom, where they check in each morning for attendance, they are expected to travel from class to class throughout the day, either lugging their books with them or if they are in a school with lockers, retrieving their books from lockers between each class.
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By seventh grade, students have settled into the rhythm of middle school. They now know how to get from class to class and how to keep track of upcoming homework assignments; they are ready to start exploring more complex ideas. In English, this might mean reading short adult novels. In science, it might mean learning about epidemiology and applying epidemiological concepts to track the spread of the season’s flu virus. In social studies, it might mean reading about current events and discussing them in relation to their historical precedents.
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Although middle school is only three years long, by eighth grade, many middle school students have undergone a significant transformation. Boys who rolled into middle school at just over four-feet tall, may be nearly two feet taller by the time they graduate. A student who was shy and awkward in grade six may show up to their eighth grade graduation with face piercings. By eighth grade, middle school students have typically grown physically, started to express their individuality, and most importantly, started to discover their future intellectual paths.
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