When people think of elementary school teaching, particularly the lower elementary grades, they often think of the fun parts of the job. The kids are cute. You can use games to help with learning. You get to enjoy the funny stories the children share. Yet, being an elementary school teacher is not all fun and games. There are several struggles that those working in elementary schools face.
Teaching Things That Are Not Natural
In middle school and high school, your teaching methods are often build on what the children already know, often the things the students learned as elementary school students. Unfortunately, elementary school teachers, especially those in the lower grades, are often starting basically from scratch when it comes to the children's education.
Reading, math, and other skills come naturally to people after a few years, but explaining these concepts to children who have no experience, or at least limited experience, with letters and numbers is hard. Elementary school teachers have to be willing to adapt, often teaching the material several times and in different ways. Plus, the pressure is on the elementary school teachers to make sure that the students understand basic concepts so teachers in higher grades can build on this knowledge.
While middle school, high school, and higher education teachers generally only have to be an expert in one or two areas, elementary school teachers generally have to teach all the subjects. This requires at least a basic understanding of many subjects as well as an ability to help young children understand these subjects.
The Tears and Whining
While many people focus on the cute factor of teaching six-year-olds, people often ignore how these kids may cry over the smallest things. As an elementary school teacher, there will be kids tattling. There will be kids whining about how someone did something unfair to them. There may even be a kid who starts crying uncontrollably for seemingly no reason at all or because a classmate looked at them funny. This can lead to frustration, headaches, and overall uncertainty about how to respond.
Despite the difficulties of working with elementary school students, working with young children can be a rewarding experience. If you are interested in learing more about this and related topics, visit the Education and Behavioral Health sections of our blog.
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