Elementary Education Degrees in New Jersey
New Jersey is growing at an extremely fast pace, especially when you look at the population of young families. What does this mean? It means that statewide demand for teachers is growing. By earning your New Jersey teacher certification, you may be able to give local kids access to the best education possible. Elementary school teachers help kids adjust to full-time schooling, shape their worldview, and come up with unique problem solving strategies. At a New Jersey teacher training program, you can get the knowledge and skills you need to explore local teaching jobs.
Becoming an Elementary Teacher in New Jersey
Whether you already have a degree or this is your first venture into postsecondary education, you’re in the right place. Browse our list of elementary education programs and get in touch with nearby schools to figure out which teaching degree best suits you.
Education is one of the most widely appreciated industries in the United States. All parents want their children to get the best education possible, and they’re willing to advocate on behalf of students and teachers to make that happen. Recently, a New Jersey community came together to support teachers in their effort to maintain school funding levels (New Jersey Herald, 2017). Teachers who have support from their communities can feel confident knowing that people believe in the work they do.
If you’re passionate about education, don’t wait any longer to start learning about a career that can make you excited to go to work every day. Discover an elementary teacher program that is right for you by requesting information from New Jersey teaching programs.
Getting Your Elementary Education Degree in New Jersey
Unless you already have a Bachelor’s degree in education or a similar field, attending an undergraduate elementary education program is likely the best choice for you. Those who have finished an undergraduate degree may be able to save time by attending a Master’s degree program or an alternative certification program. However, the vast majority of new teaching students do not have any prior postsecondary training. That makes the Bachelor’s degree the most time-efficient and well-rounded option.
If you’re entering school as a college freshman, you may plan on graduating in about four years. Some programs last five years; this is restricted to those programs that offer additional classroom experience to students. Over this time period, you should earn at least 120 credits. At some New Jersey schools, you may have to earn 130 credits to meet graduation requirements.
There are several components that make up elementary education degrees. The first is general education. These courses cover topics like English, history, and physical sciences. All students are required to take these courses, whether they’re in education or a different major.
The second component is teaching theory. After you’re accepted to your institution’s teaching program, you may start learning about the history of teaching, the current state of education, and the future goals of this field. Each semester, you may dig deeper into theory and learn how to use it when working with elementary school students.
Elementary Education Course Options in New Jersey
- Challenges in Urban Education
- Reading, Language, and Literacy
- Development, Behavior, and Learning
- Elementary Social Studies Methods
- Elementary Math Methods
- Classroom Management and Assessment
- Elementary Reading
The third component of your education is classroom experience. Students spend hundreds of hours in local elementary school classrooms by graduation, which is why earning your entire elementary education degree online isn’t a feasible option. Note, though, that there are blended degree options. These programs may allow you to take theory and general education courses online, while requiring in-person attendance for experienced-based classes.
Your classroom experience may take you from observing experienced teachers to actually leading classrooms on your own. You take on the most responsibility as a student teacher, an experience that comes in your final semester of training. You keep the same work hours as your supervising teacher, giving you an insider’s view of what it’s really like to work as a teacher. Use your supervising teacher as a resource. Ask plenty of questions, improve your work based on their feedback, and form a strong bond with them.
Once your education is behind you, you can use your degree to apply for a teaching license. The New Jersey Department of Education requires that you take the Praxis II exam prior to licensure. They may administer your initial license after receiving proof of your passing exam scores.
Teachers are essential to the healthy development of children, so the influence you have on your students may last for decades. Ready to answer the call and start getting the training you need? Get in touch with elementary education programs today to get more information on your options.
Working as an Elementary Educator in New Jersey
By the time you start your job search, you should have a clear idea of which grade levels you’d like to teach. Don’t forget to work your connections. Reach out to the teachers and administrators you know from your classroom experience courses to find out if they have any leads for you. If you make a solid impression as a student teacher, you may even work at one of your classroom experience sites.
There are lots of ways you can keep your teaching knowledge up to date and relevant. If you get involved in local groups like the New Jersey Education Association, you may learn about continuing education seminars before other teaching professionals. The more you know, the more effectively you can reach your students. Joining professional organizations can also help you develop your professional network.
Education is in a period of steady growth in New Jersey, with an expected 2% increase in job openings between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017). Salaries in New Jersey tend to be higher than national averages. Elementary school teachers earn, on average, $68,810 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017).
If you have what it takes to work with students, teachers, and parents in pursuit of a stronger education system, this is your chance. Explore New Jersey teacher education programs and contact schools that catch your interest.
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