What is an Elementary School Teacher?

An Elementary School Teacher is a person trained to educate children from Pre-K to Fifth Grade. These people 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 the children.

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What does an Elementary School Teacher do?

Elementary School Teachers perform 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 gain 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, and reading skills, as well as helping students to learn 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 often 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 children to learn are all very important skills needed in this profession.

Second Grade Teachers spend less time helping children become adjusted to standard school routine 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 again 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 sometimes 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, as before, 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. Students at this level learn at different speeds and this grade is where teachers will find their classroom errand runners within the "fast learner" pack.

What does it take to be an Elementary School Teacher?

Elementary School Teachers are responsible for the academic and emotional well-being of their 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 in the United 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 requirement of a Teaching Certification. This Certification generally involves gaining a Bachelor's Degree as well as passing an exam, as well as performing 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 5 years old to 12 years old. These teachers teach in classrooms within the school setting and provide children with the necessary building blocks for further learning.

How much does an Elementary School Teacher earn?

The median salary for an Elementary School Teacher in the United States is $51,000. In Canada the average salary is $50,000. In the United Kingdom the average salary of Elementary School Teachers is £30,000. These amounts vary depending on region, state, and country.

Learn more about being an Elementary School Teacher