What does an Elementary School Teacher do?

Take the Free Sokanu Career Test!

We've built the world's most comprehensive career test. Our questionnaire measures over 180 traits to match you against 500+ careers. Our mission is to help you find your calling in life.

Take the Sokanu Career Test

What is an Elementary School Teacher?

An elementary school teacher is a person trained to educate children from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. They are responsible for the educational and emotional growth of children in a classroom setting, as well as managing the materials and resources used for educating them.

How compatible are you with this career?

Would you make a good elementary school teacher? Sokanu's free assessment reveals your exact compatibility with this career, your strengths, and any unique areas of interest.

What does an Elementary School Teacher do?

An elementary school teacher performs a variety of tasks during their workday. These tasks vary depending on the grade of the students they work with. The average elementary school holds classes for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, with some schools also offering pre-kindergarten classes.

A pre-kindergarten teacher or kindergarten teacher -
will spend the day teaching children in a way that keeps them actively learning and helps them to develop a love for learning as well. This type of teacher will require the ability to create an engaging environment, nurturing the children's natural curiosity and encouraging them to learn on their own as well. The base skills taught by pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers are letter recognition, phonic learning, early mathematics, very basic reading skills, proper social skills and confidence.

First grade teachers -
will use many hands-on learning approaches as well as discussion groups in their classroom. The core subjects of math, science, and english will form most of the day, with art, physical education, and music being taught throughout the work week as well. These teachers are a vital building block in early development, as they continue to build confidence in each student and create a positive view of the world and themselves. Patience, communication skills, problem solving, and the ability to motivate these young children to learn are all very important skills needed.

Second grade teachers -
spend less time helping children become adjusted to standard school routines than pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade teachers. A second grade teacher will expect more from students and often children will notice that they have more responsibilities during the school day. A second grade teacher is responsible for further learning in the aforementioned core subjects, as well as continuing to shape each student's behaviour and emotional well-being. Students at this stage are far more likely to notice inconsistencies in expectations and rules; therefore teachers need to be firm and focused, as well as fair and encouraging.

Third grade teachers -
are responsible for more core learning subjects as students at this stage are ready for a more diverse field of learning. In addition to math, reading, and english, students now move into the studies of social studies, science, and a higher level of physical education, art, and music. Teachers will begin to deal with social differences as well as racial differences in students, as the students are at this stage beginning to solidly react to the diversity around them.

Fourth grade teachers -
are responsible for all the core learning subjects, though at this point the job becomes more complicated as students have matured and need a strong, intuitive teacher that possesses excellent communication skills and is capable of guiding students effectively. A fourth grade teacher will need a wealth of patience, energy, and creativity to hold the attention of their class. While more meaningful material is taught, these teachers must find a balance between classic teaching and the fun teaching of earlier grades.

Fifth grade teachers -
will need the same wealth of patience and communication skills as a fourth grade teacher. At this stage of learning, it is easier to recognize which students will need more attention than others. Getting to know each student is necessary to offer a solid learning experience to each one. Teachers at this level need to be firm, but kind.

How to become an Elementary School Teacher

An elementary school teacher is responsible for the academic and emotional well-being of his or her students. As such, a teacher will need strong communication skills as well as the ability to be patient and understanding with students of each level. A large amount of energy is needed for each day, as well as a great amount of creativity to keep students interested in learning.

Besides communication, patience, creativity and energy, teachers are generally required to gain a degree in early learning, with most states requiring a specific amount of educational credits to be earned over the course of study.

While requirements vary from state-to-state and country-to-country, one recurring theme is the teaching certification requirement. This certification generally involves gaining a bachelors degree, passing an exam, and completing a specified number of hours as a supervised practice teacher.

What is the workplace of an Elementary School Teacher like?

An elementary school teacher works in public or private schools across the world, teaching students who range in age from five years old to 12 years old. These teachers teach in classrooms within the school setting, providing children with the necessary building blocks for further learning.

External Reading

  • The Qualities of Great Teachers www.ascd.org

    Greatness in teaching is just as rare as greatness in medicine, dance, law, or any other profession. Although the qualities that make great teachers are not easy to inculcate or duplicate, understanding these qualities can give all teachers a standard of excellence to strive for, and guide schools in their efforts to recruit and retain the best teachers.

  • Day In The Life Of A 5th Grade Teacher cleaneatingchelsey.com

    It’s true that I’ll “be in school for the rest of my life”, but you have no idea what a hidden treasure being a fifth grade teacher is. It’s like the biggest secret in education — fifth grade really is a blast.

  • What It's Really Like To Be An Elementary School Teacher teaching.monster.com

    Throughout the past year, CTI Career Search has conducted interviews with dozens of elementary school teachers to assemble a real-world view of the profession.

  • Why are Preschool and Elementary Educational Experiences So Important? senecaacademy.blogspot.ca

    The longer I am involved in preschool and elementary education, the more I am convinced that our efforts with young students are among the most important and long-lasting.

  • Elementary School Teacher teach.com

    Elementary school teachers interact with students of vastly different age groups, from the early ages of five or six, to the cusp of adolescence at 11 or 12.

  • How To Become An Elementary School Teacher www.citytowninfo.com

    Teaching elementary school appeals to those who love young children and want to make a positive difference in their lives. It also requires lots of patience, stamina, and nerves of steel.

  • What Does An Elementary School Teacher Do? www.wisegeek.com

    An elementary school teacher has the job of teaching children from about age 5 to age 11.

  • What Being A Teacher Is Really Like www.ladyblogger.net

    When I refer to "teachers," I'm talking about true educators, not people who like to call themselves teacher.

  • 21 Reasons To Quit Your Job And Become A Teacher www.huffingtonpost.com

    In a recent article about happiness at work, Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter suggests that the happiest among us are those who are solving the toughest problems and "making a difference" in people's lives.

  • Top 5 Things To Consider Before Becoming A Teacher www.youtube.com

    Teaching is truly a noble profession. It is also a very time consuming one, requiring a commitment on your part. Teaching can be very demanding but can also be extremely rewarding. Here are five things you should consider before taking up teaching as your chosen career.