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How do I Become a Primary School Teacher?

By Jeremy Laukkonen
Updated May 17, 2024
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The path to become a primary school teacher may differ depending on the local regulations where you live. Primary school teacher requirements typically involve both completing some level of tertiary education and then becoming certified. The level of education and manner of certification differs between country and region. Before setting out to become a primary school teacher, it may be a good idea to determine where you want to teach so that you can be certain your schooling and certifications will apply.

In some cases, you can become a primary school teacher with any four year degree. Other primary school teacher jobs will require that you obtain a specific bachelor of education (BEd) degree. Public schools are often more stringent in these requirements, while private schools may simply require that you are highly qualified for the position. The accreditation of the college or university you attend may be important as well, as some localities may not recognize the validity of degrees from schools or programs in other regions.

Various countries may also have different specific requirements. In the United Kingdom (UK), it may be possible to become a primary school teacher with only a four year degree, though it will typically need to be a BEd. It may also be possible to work as a primary school teacher with another bachelor's degree, though you will typically need to obtain qualified teacher status (QTS) as well. Certain independent schools may have lesser requirements.

The second step to become a primary school teacher is often certification. Each country and local region may have its own particular requirements for certification, and some use materials and programs from a third party, while others using their own proprietary systems. The first step of certification often takes place before you can begin studying for a specific degree in education. After you have completed your studies, you may also need to take a variety of tests to verify your knowledge in the subjects and grade levels you will teach.

Certification to become a primary school teacher often involves some form of practical examination as well. This will usually involve the observation of a new teacher at some point during their first year of teaching. After you become certified, you are typically licensed to teach primary school for between three and ten years. There may be additional certification requirements to remain licensed after the initial period has expired.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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