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Elementary School Teacher Career

Career Description

Elementary School Teacher Career

Elementary school teachers are in charge of standard education as well as behavioral education of students in the early years of school. They prepare lessons to teach students basic literacy skills and mentor students to build academic foundations and develop their social skills and behavior.

Educational Requirements

An elementary school teacher career requires at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from an accredited program. The coursework of such programs includes training in physical science, social sciences, mathematics, history, science, language arts, education, child psychology, presentation of information to young learners and how to work with young learners of varying abilities and backgrounds. Most programs also have internship programs which allow students to gain practical experience in preparing lessons and teaching. Councils like the Teacher Education Accreditation Council and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education accredit teacher education programs.

To work in public elementary schools, you need to have a teaching license as well as meet other state requirements. Some states also require a master’s degree in elementary
education along with professional certification.


The State Board of Education issues licenses to people looking to enter an elementary school teacher career. The license requires you fulfill the set educational requirements of the field and have a teaching internship. To obtain this license, you will also need to pass an exam which will assess your knowledge in basic reading, writing and teaching skills. If you do not meet the educational requirements but still want to teach, you may seek a provisional alternative license which will allow you to teach while pursuing the requisite education.

Private schools do not usually require teachers to be licensed.

Work Tasks

Elementary school teachers may be entrusted with a number of tasks. Typically, they:

  • Prepare lessons and teaching materials;
  • Teach content areas to individuals as well as groups;
  • Help learners facing learning difficulties;
  • Grade tests and assignments;
  • Maintain records of student attendance and performance;
  • Meet parents to discuss student progress; and
  • Supervise out-of-class activities.

Most teachers work a ten months school year with a two months summer break.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual pay of elementary school teachers in May 2010 was $51,660 with the lowest 10% earning less than $34,390 and the top 10% earning more than $80,140.

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