Elementary education becomes even more important as the years go by, because everyone realizes how it sets the foundation of much more learning to follow. This puts even more pressure on elementary school teachers in their quest to succeed with each child in their class. Here we shall take a look at how elementary education has changed for both students and teachers of this age group.
Elementary education is something we have all gone through, and it is something that may have shaped our lives forever. Through the elementary school program we all began to learn more about ourselves and the world, as our horizons were extended beyond the home to take in the school environment, and from there, the world grew even more as we discovered and were taught about other cities, and other countries.
So how does elementary education shape a child’s life? When a child attends elementary school, the world of the child changes. Having depended on their parents from birth, suddenly they have someone else in their lives, their class teacher. This teacher holds the future of that child in their hands to some extent, because how the child reacts to that teacher, and vice versa, can influence the child, his or her ability to learn, and his or her love of learning.
When children attend kindergarten, their learning begins in earnest, with learning the basics like the alphabet and the number system, and the learning continues at a fast pace for most of the children. However, if there is a dislike between the child and his teacher, then this may result in the child not learning as well as he should.
Knowing as we do that education is a like a tower of building blocks, we know how important those first few blocks are. The rest of the education of each child is built on the first few years, and how the child handles learning and how to deal with mistakes really can affect him well into his future.
This means that the role of the kindergarten teacher and the first grades is so important. There has to be plenty of encouragement with all aspects of learning, and the children have to learn that mistakes are often made by most people, but they can be corrected, and can learn from them. The very basics that are taught there need to be learned thoroughly in the first grades, so that they can be built on effectively. We all know, for example, that it is important to start reading at an early age, and children who cannot read do tend to struggle in the school system where so much depends on reading and writing.
And of course the value of knowing the number system, and being able to use numbers correctly is also of great importance, since these are used more and more as the children grow older. For children to progress, they need to understand the basics, and without this, they can become a problem in the classroom as they get bored and are unable to accomplish tasks set for them.
This makes the job of the elementary school teacher extremely important, and that in turn means that the training of these teachers has to be thorough, giving student teachers the skills they need to cope with the ever changing classroom dynamics. At one time, the life of a teacher was easier, in that all the children in a class spoke the same language, but nowadays, any one classroom can have children who speak a different language at home, so not only are they having to learn to read and write in the elementary classroom, but they also have to learn another language, one that is not necessarily used at home.
For English as a second language students, the teacher has to be able to encourage their use of English at school, and somehow, find the time to give them individual attention. If any of these children struggle with any of the basics, the elementary school teacher needs to help that child as much as possible so that they do not start to fall behind the rest of the class.
The result of all of this is that the elementary teachers have a great deal of responsibility for getting their class successfully through the necessary curriculum, so that the following year, the next teacher can do the same, building on the knowledge of the previous year. Should any child fall behind, through sickness, or any other reason, then every effort has to be made by the teacher to help that child catch up and understand the lessons that have been missed.
But the life of an elementary school teacher is not all about imparting knowledge. Elementary education also involves helping children become good citizens, which requires the elementary school teacher to spend time helping students with this important aspect of education. This means that the elementary teacher has a great deal of responsibility, an enormous task, and a task that is not always appreciated by others who consider the life of a teacher to be a very easy job. A teacher’s life can be very stressful, dealing with children from widely differing backgrounds, helping them with language difficulties, and helping the parents too understand what is happening in their child’s life at school. Of course with language difficulties, this becomes even more of a challenge for the elementary teachers.
As you can see, elementary education is full of challenges, for the school teachers as well as the students, but they are challenges that are eagerly faced by teachers and students alike.