Elementary Education Degrees in Maine
Everyone wants to do meaningful work that leaves a legacy. What do you bring to the table in your professional endeavors? Are you patient, compassionate, and able to solve problems in new and creative ways? If so, you may want to consider a career in elementary education. Elementary school teachers are role models for children, showing them how to stay focused and develop a love of learning. At one of Maine’s many colleges or universities, you may be able to get the hands-on training and theory education you need to make a difference in local schools.
Becoming an Elementary Teacher in Maine
Which one of Maine’s elementary education programs fits you? While there are many ways to evaluate Maine teacher programs, reaching out to the schools that interest you is the easiest way to evaluate your options. Check out our list of schools and contact those that catch your eye.
Maine legislators have done a lot to protect education and keep high-quality educators in the state. Legislators know that compensation is an important issue for teachers, particularly since so many teachers reach into their own pockets to purchase class supplies. For this reason, they have proposed a bill that would set a minimum teaching salary of $40,000 (Press Herald, 2017). This would make it easier for teaching graduates to remain in the state and work with some of Maine’s outlying communities.
Comparing elementary education programs is the first step to advancing your education. Request more information from Maine teaching programs to find out what sets each school apart.
Getting Your Elementary Education Degree in Maine
As the field of education has grown, so too has the demand for teachers. In response, colleges and universities have come up with new ways for college students to become licensed educators. Which elementary education degree is right for you? If you do not yet have a Bachelor’s degree, you should start with an undergraduate degree. An undergraduate elementary education degree from an accredited institution permits you to apply for licensure and work independently in the classroom. In total, you need 120 credits to earn a Bachelor’s degree. For the average student, this works out to four years of education. This includes one semester of student teaching. During this time, you do not take any other courses; student teaching is a full-time commitment that needs your full attention. For some students, student teaching assignments lead to job offers, so take this part of your education seriously.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree, look into an accelerated elementary teacher program. These programs last about one year, utilizing your general education credits to get you into a licensed teaching role more quickly. This license may be temporary, so you may need to make time for standard teaching courses down the line. The other option is a Master’s degree in elementary education. However, note that some graduate programs require a teaching license and an undergraduate teaching degree. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, you may need to go through an undergraduate teacher education program first.
Elementary Education Course Options in Maine
- Education in a Multicultural Society
- Educational Psychology
- Integrating Technology for Teaching and Learning
- Teaching and Assessing for Student Learning
- Classroom-Based Prevention and Intervention
- Teaching Reading and Language Arts
- Teaching Science in the Elementary School
- Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
Prior to working in the classroom independently, you must have a Maine Provisional Certificate. This demonstrates that you have the education and knowledge needed to adequately meet the needs of Maine students. This process is regulated by the Maine Department of Education. Your Provisional Certificate is valid for two years. Once you have two years of teaching experience, you may want to apply for a Professional Certificate. This is valid for five years. A Master Certificate requires national board certification.
Before you are awarded your Provisional Certificate, you must pass the Praxis II exams mandated for elementary school teachers. This is one of the benefits of choosing an accredited program; your training should thoroughly prepare you for Praxis II exams.
What are the benefits of a teaching degree? Most people go into this field because they have seen the transformative power of education for themselves. One good teacher can have a huge impact on a child’s life, showing them that adults can be trusted and that they have what it takes to succeed. Whether you teach kindergarten or fifth grade, you have the chance to really connect with students as an elementary teacher.
Are you prepared to turn your dedication to your community into a fulfilling career? Explore your options now by contacting Maine elementary education teacher programs.
Working as an Elementary Educator in Maine
The field of education has remained steady in Maine for several years, a trend that may continue through 2024 or beyond. Between 2014 and 2024, O*Net anticipates an average of 150 new elementary education jobs per year (2017). Maine teachers often enjoy salaries that are higher than national averages, which is common in other New England states. Statewide, the average salary for an elementary school teacher is $51,810 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
How can you continue the momentum you built as a student and keep your career moving forward? When you are new to the field of teaching, it’s all about networking and learning as much as you possibly can. No matter how much you learn in your teacher education program, some things can only be learned on the job. When you connect with experienced teachers you can trust, you may learn from their experience and make your transition into teaching much smoother. Of course, you can build relationships with teachers at your place of employment. However, you can cast a wider net by joining groups like the Maine Education Association.
Those who contribute to education may enjoy the fruits of their labor for decades to come. Investing in education now may create a happier, healthier Maine. Get involved today by getting in touch with Maine teaching schools.
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