What does an Elementary Teacher do?
Elementary Teachers work for elementary schools to teach children about a variety of subjects, including math, science, English or language arts and history. They adhere to state and local curriculum requirements to create lesson plans for specific grade-levels. Their job is to create a daily schedule for their students, use whiteboards or similar equipment to write examples and draw diagrams to aid their students’ understanding and discipline students if necessary. They may also be responsible for tutoring students individually or in small groups when they need additional help to learn about a subject.
Elementary Teacher Skills and Qualifications
A successful Elementary Teacher will understand the basic subjects taught in grade school and be comfortable teaching classes to grades 1 through 6. Teachers should also understand childhood development and be able to communicate effectively with children ages 5 through 12. They will also need other skills to succeed, including:
- The patience to teach children of all levels and backgrounds
- The ability to communicate in ways students will understand, as well as with parents and administrators
- Confidence speaking in front of groups and enforcing classroom rules
- The creativity to create engaging lesson plans and inspire students to learn
- The physical and mental stamina to keep up with high-energy grade school students
Elementary Teacher Salary Expectations
Elementary Teachers earn, on average, $19.04 an hour. Typical salaries may vary, depending on years of experience, geographic location and school type (whether it is public or private).
Elementary Teacher Education and Training Requirements
Elementary Teachers typically have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, early childhood development or a similar field. They might also have a degree or specialization in a certain topic, such as math or English. If an Elementary Teacher has not received an education-related bachelor’s degree, they might complete a teacher education program or work under the supervision of another teacher to gain experience.
Requirements vary by state, but nearly all Elementary Teachers must have a license or certification to teach in their state of residence. They might need to take professional development courses throughout their careers to keep their licenses. Most Elementary teachers do not need an advanced degree such as a master’s.
Elementary Teacher Experience Requirements
Elementary Teachers can start teaching students as soon as they get their bachelor’s degree and state certification. Many Elementary Teachers will have taught alongside an experienced teacher before getting their own classroom. Once they have gained this experience and become certified, Elementary Teachers might specialize in an individual grade or subject or teach different grades and subjects every school year. Successful Elementary Teachers might attend conferences or take professional development classes to improve their teaching methods and learn new technologies. Experienced Elementary Teachers can become lead teachers at a school.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
If you are looking for a different type of teacher, educator or professional who works with children, similar job description samples include: