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Elementary School Teachers Career

Career Description

Teach students basic academic, social, and other formative skills in public or private schools at the elementary level.

What Job Titles Elementary School Teachers Might Have

  • Classroom Teacher
  • Elementary Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Teacher

What Elementary School Teachers Do

  • Instruct students individually and in groups, using various teaching methods, such as lectures, discussions, and demonstrations.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Read books to entire classes or small groups.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Enforce administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Assign and grade class work and homework.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Organize and lead activities designed to promote physical, mental, and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, and storytelling.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine student strengths and areas of need.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of elementary school programs.
  • Involve parent volunteers and older students in children's activities to facilitate involvement in focused, complex play.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.

What Elementary School Teachers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Elementary School Teachers Should Be Interested In

What Elementary School Teachers Need to Learn

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $55,800

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.