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Career and Education Opportunities for Elementary School Teachers in Fort Smith, Arkansas

If you want to be an elementary school teacher, the Fort Smith, Arkansas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 10,680 jobs for elementary school teachers in Arkansas and this is projected to grow by 25% to 13,300 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for elementary school teachers are expected to grow by about 15.8%. Elementary school teachers generally teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.

The average wage in the general category of Primary and Secondary School Education jobs is $10 per hour or $40,245 per year in Arkansas, and an average of $11 per hour or $45,804 per year nationwide. Earnings for elementary school teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Primary and Secondary School Education in Arkansas and better than general Primary and Secondary School Education category earnings nationally. Elementary school teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: bilingual instructor, elementary education teacher, and bilingual teacher.

The Fort Smith area is home to nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree as an elementary school teacher. Elementary school teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become an elementary school teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Elementary School Teacher

Elementary School Teacher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, elementary school teachers teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.

Elementary school teachers establish and enforce rules for behavior and methods for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible. They also attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required. Equally important, elementary school teachers have to meet with other professionals to consider individual students' needs and progress. They are often called upon to observe and evaluate students' performance and physical health. They are expected to talk with parents or guardians and administrators to deal with students' behavioral and academic problems. Finally, elementary school teachers involve parent volunteers and older students in children's activities to enable involvement in focused, complex play.

Every day, elementary school teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for elementary school teachers to perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. They are often called upon to supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They also sponsor extracurricular efforts such as clubs and academic contests. They are sometimes expected to maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws and administrative regulations. Somewhat less frequently, elementary school teachers are also expected to ready materials and classrooms for class efforts.

Elementary school teachers sometimes are asked to formulate and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers or other experiential efforts, and guide students in learning from those efforts. They also have to be able to meet with parents and guardians to consider their children's progress and to establish priorities for their children and their resource needs and adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests. And finally, they sometimes have to instruct students individually and in groups, using various teaching methods such as lectures and demonstrations.

Like many other jobs, elementary school teachers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • English Professor. Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.
  • Preschool Teacher. Instruct children (normally up to 5 years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Elementary School Teacher Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Elementary Education and Teaching which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.


Teacher, Early Childhood P-4

Licensing agency: Arkansas Department of Education
Address: Professional Licensure, Room 106B & 107B, Four Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201-1071

Phone: (501) 682-4342
Website: Arkansas Department of Education Professional Licensure


Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.