Career profile: So, you want to be a elementary school teacher?

Crystal Mendez, Reporter

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Elementary school teachers teach children from kindergarten up to sixth grade. They teach children the educational basis. These include numbers, language, science, and also social studies. These teachers help children grow into healthy and secure young people, you may see a elementary school teacher working at your local elementary school such as; Burnham, Goodwin, Lincoln, Warren Park, and Roosevelt.

WHO can do this? Someone who is patient, kind and  daily dedication.

WHAT does it take? You must meet the requirements from the states Department of Education, and  a bachelors degree which includes a teacher preparation program.

WHERE can you get it?  You can get a teachers degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago State University, and University of Illinois in Springfield.

WHEN can you do it?  For elementary and middle school teachers, a bachelor’s degree in education is all that’s required.

WHY should you do it?  Being able to teach a subject you enjoyed in school and having the opportunity to help children become self-aware individuals.

HOW much will you make? Salaries typically start from $36,560 and go up to $88,590. Teachers earn a median salary of $55,800 per year.

Teaching in Illinois is a great option for anyone looking to work as an educator. There are 91 colleges and Universities with teacher degree programs in Illinois. The least expensive tuition is at the University of Illinois at Springfield for $11,444, followed by Chicago State University for $11,293. Illinois requires all prospective teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree. The bachelor’s degree curriculum will include a teachers preparation program. Additionally, anyone wanting to obtain an Illinois teacher certification must first fulfill the requirements provided by the states Department of Education.

As there are many people who work in this field, Crystal Lizon who is currently a teacher at Currier Elementary School at West Chicago knows what it’s like to have this career. Lizon has been a teacher for over 7 years, teaches 5th grade and has always enjoyed teaching children the basics. Lizon was asked what it what like to pursue this career:

Q & A:

What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your job? “I think that you need to be passionate about

working with all different kinds of people. Knowledgeable in the subject area, know that you will have to work long hours and may even struggle,” Mrs. Lizon said.

What other jobs could you do with the skills you have gained in this field? “Possibly a trainer in a corporate setting, a coach – for teachers,” Mrs. Lizon said.

what are the biggest challenges in your job? ” I believe it would be their behavior, one day they’ll be super calm and sweet and the next super loud but, i’m not complaining i’m always up for some challenges,” Mrs. Lizon said.

What made you want to be a teacher? “I always loved being around kids and working with people; i always enjoyed being around such a vibrant working environment,” Mrs. Lizon said.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? “Definitely the kids, i love talking to them and watching them learn and engage in class. I enjoy watching them when they finally get a concept that they thought was difficult,” Mrs. Lizon said.

What is a typical day like for a teacher in this position? ” I leave anywhere between 6 and 6:30 am, i work an hour or so before school starts, I go to meetings sometimes during my lunch or plan time, i have meetings twice a month for 2 hours after school, If i stay at school i spend at least an hour after working on lessons, making copies, or just getting organized and ready for the next day. I also spend about 5 to 6 hours grading tests, homework or quizzes,” Mrs. Lizon said.

Do you incorporate your own materials and lesson ideas? “Yes, i follow the state standards but i rarely use the textbook that is provided except for the extra practice problems,” Mrs. Lizon said.

What resources does the school provide to help teachers? “I have a very old laptop and i get $50 to order classroom supplies,” Mrs. Lizon said.





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