A teacher watches her students draw and color

What is an Elementary School Teacher?

Elementary school teachers are professionals who work with elementary-aged children in formal school settings. Although elementary ages and grades vary by state, most elementary school teachers work with students between the first and sixth grades. Elementary school teachers are in charge of teaching, evaluating, managing, and grading children’s behavior and knowledge in preparation for further education.

Elementary school teachers work in both public and private schools. All elementary school teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. In order to teach in a public school, elementary school teachers also must have a teacher’s license and follow state regulations. It is possible to obtain a teaching license and choose a major outside of education, but obtaining a teaching license and going through the necessary qualifications is made easier and quicker if done through major requirements while obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

Elementary school teachers engage in a variety of tasks. Often, elementary school teachers have one class of students to whom they must teach a variety of subjects. This means that they must create lesson plans and teach material based on appropriate ages and learning curves. Because elementary school teachers may teach different ages, they must have knowledge of appropriate material for different ages and grade levels. Additionally, many states have strict curriculum standards, so elementary school teachers must create lesson plans in conjunction with state-approved textbooks and guidelines.

As elementary school teachers teach their students, they must be constantly evaluating and assessing each student. This means paying attention to the strengths and weaknesses of each child in the classroom. This also means that elementary school teachers must communicate effectively with the child and with each child’s parents. Excellent elementary school teachers are capable of building rapport with their students and the students’ parents.

Teachers are not only educating children based on curriculum, but they are also helping to teach children important life skills. This means that they must balance individual teaching and group teaching. Students have specific individual needs that teachers must balance, but teachers must also help the students engage in social behaviors by teaching and collaborating at the group level.

As the teachers evaluate the students, they must also grade the students based on work in the classroom. This means monitoring each student’s progress to ensure that students can pass on to the next grade levels. Many states also have standardized test requirements for which the teachers must prepare their students.

Teaching at the elementary school level can be very rewarding, but it is also a challenge. Teachers must balance a number of tasks and responsibilities, and they are responsible for the safety and education of the child. If you enjoy a challenge and working with young children, becoming an elementary school teacher may be a great career move for you!

Last Updated: April 15, 2015