In order to successfully instruct young children, there are certain credentials that primary school teachers must have. Some primary school teacher qualifications include obtaining an educational background in the subjects that an instructor wishes to teach and understanding children and their needs. A teacher often must obtain licensure in the jurisdiction in which she would like to instruct, and may seek specialization in a certain position. A primary school teacher must also have non-academic skills, including communication, organization and patience.
Education for those seeking a primary teacher position is typically broader than that for high school and middle school instructors. While an individual who teaches older children generally focuses on a specific course, elementary school teachers receive a diverse education ranging from music and art to mathematics and language arts. While college courses may vary, most are designed specifically for those entering into a teaching field and are supplemented with classes that focus on psychology, philosophy and teaching methods. In most areas, a bachelor's degree is required to teach, and most programs include teaching internships in local public schools.
In the United States, all public schools require a teacher to have a license, but the same may not be true for private schools. In almost all states, the State Board of Education provides licenses for teachers of various grade levels. Similar governing bodies do so in other countries. While the requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction, most primary school teacher qualifications include a bachelor's degree obtained from an accredited teacher-training program. Firsthand teaching experience under a licensed teacher may also be required. If a teacher holds a degree but does not have the required formal education in teaching, there are alternative licensure programs in some areas that can provide provisional licenses with extra supervision during the first year of teaching.
If a teacher decides to pursue additional certification, she may receive special benefits, including reimbursed fees to continue her education and a higher salary. Further education might also allow the teacher additional employment opportunities, such as various administrative positions or working as a school librarian or a counselor. Some school districts offer a higher salary for those who are highly trained; experienced; and have additional primary school teacher qualifications and duties, such as mentoring and overseeing younger, inexperienced teachers.
In addition to formal education, other primary school teacher qualifications include the ability to motivate and communicate effectively as well as understand the social, developmental and educational needs of the child. Teachers who are creative can offer additional benefits by providing their students with unique and new learning opportunities. Patience and tolerance are critical to an elementary school teacher's success, as is organization. A successful primary school teacher is one who can work independently while still communicating with the community, other teachers and parents.