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Career profile Elementary School Teacher

Also known as Art Teacher, Classroom Teacher, Educator, Elementary Education Teacher, Elementary School Teacher, Elementary Teacher, Fifth Grade Teacher, First Grade Teacher, Second Grade Teacher, Teacher

Elementary School Teacher

Also known as Art Teacher, Classroom Teacher, Educator

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Artistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$40,030 - $100,480 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Instructing
  • Learning Strategies
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • 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, abilities, and interests.
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What does an Elementary School Teacher do?

Elementary School Teachers teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level.

What kind of tasks does an Elementary School Teacher perform regularly?

Elementary School Teachers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • 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, abilities, and interests.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects, and communicate these objectives to students.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Read books to entire classes or small groups.
  • Enforce administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine their priorities for their children.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons that promote learning, following approved curricula.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by administrative policy.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Organize and lead activities designed to promote physical, mental, and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, and storytelling.
  • Assign and grade class work and homework.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
  • 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, contests, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Elementary School Teachers. More generally, Elementary School Teachers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is an Elementary School Teacher salary?

The median salary for an Elementary School Teacher is $60,940, and the average salary is $65,420. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Elementary School Teacher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Elementary School Teachers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Elementary School Teachers earn less than $40,030 per year, 25% earn less than $48,350, 75% earn less than $79,120, and 90% earn less than $100,480.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Elementary School Teachers is expected to change by 7.4%, and there should be roughly 110,800 open positions for Elementary School Teachers every year.

Median annual salary
$60,940
Typical salary range
$40,030 - $100,480
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.4%

What personality traits are common among Elementary School Teachers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Elementary School Teacher are usually higher in their Social, Artistic, and Conventional interests.

Elementary School Teachers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Elementary School Teachers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Lastly, Elementary School Teachers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Elementary School Teacher tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Elementary School Teachers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Elementary School Teachers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Elementary School Teachers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Elementary School Teachers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, concern for others, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Elementary School Teachers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Elementary School Teachers need?

Many Elementary School Teachers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Elementary School Teachers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Elementary School Teachers

  • 3.1% completed some college coursework
  • 2.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 43.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 46.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 4.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Elementary School Teachers

Elementary School Teachers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, mathematics, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Elementary School Teachers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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.

Important Abilities needed by Elementary School Teachers

Elementary School Teachers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Elementary School Teachers need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Elementary School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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 that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Elementary School Teachers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Elementary School Teachers frequently use skills like speaking, instructing, and learning strategies to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Elementary School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Instructing
Teaching others how to do something.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.