Teaching fifth grade is both rewarding and challenging. Fifth-grade teachers should have a rich interest in teaching to build enthusiasm in their students. They also need the ability to connect to adolescents, be creative in how they present subject matter and be willing to provide extra help to students who need it. It's the fifth-grade teacher's job to ensure students are well-prepared for their transition to middle school. Fifth-grade teachers need to be patient, insightful and have a keen sense of humor.
Obtain a bachelor's degree in secondary education at a four-year university. The program should cover current teaching techniques, curriculum development, classroom management and other related topics essential to your success as a fifth-grade teacher.
Complete a student-teacher internship in a fifth-grade class at a local elementary school before graduation. Internship programs will give you hands-on experience and a head start in your career in education. Working under an experienced fifth-grade teacher will allow you to be part of a classroom setting, prepare lessons, be involved with students and receive feed back on your teaching abilities.
Attain teacher certification from the State Board of Education or a certification advisory committee by completing the competency test to teach at the fifth-grade level.
Meet the Highly Qualified (HQ) status that was implemented under the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. To achieve HQ status, you must establish proficiency in each subject area being taught. Fifth-grade classrooms are usually self-contained; therefore, teachers must have a firm knowledge base in all core subjects, such as language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.
- Licenses must be renewed periodically in accordance to individual state laws.
- Join a professional organization to stay current on the latest information and advances.
- A master's degree isn't typically needed to teach fifth grade; however, some schools do require you have one or are working toward obtaining one.
- Contact the Department of Education or State Licensing office for certification requirements specific to your state.
Based in St. Louis, Mo., Kelly Gear has been writing professionally for various websites since 2008. Gear has published informational articles on a wide variety of topics relating to business, finance, beauty, fashion, fitness, family and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Harris-Stowe State University.