Elementary School Teacher

Salary, Job Description, and Educational Requirements

One of the most important jobs in America is that of elementary school teacher. Elementary teachers are responsible for providing a broad education and helping students succeed academically.

A career as an elementary school teacher could be for you if you are patient, flexible, and passionate about teaching children.

Elementary school teachers at a glance

Description of the job as an elementary school teacher

Elementary school teachers are responsible for teaching children using childhood development theories, theories, practices, and concepts. Elementary school teachers are responsible for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of students at an early stage. These insights allow elementary teachers to plan a targeted and general curriculum that prepares students for success in middle and high school.

The typical duties of an elementary teacher are:

  • Grade and prepare assignments and coursework
  • Manage schools and implement school procedures
  • To create policies, work with school administrators and leaders
  • Keep up-to-date with local and state standards
  • Select reading, writing, math, and other curriculum-development materials, including textbooks, in accordance with local and state guidelines
  • Prepare students for standardized exams, keeping in mind state and local requirements. Provide diagnostic feedback.
  • One-on-one meetings with students are a great way to increase performance and address behavior issues.
  • Communicate with guardians and parents, including facilitating conferences
  • Demonstrate social behavior such as sharing, hanging up coats, talking to others, cleaning up after themselves, and asking for help
  • Introduce STEAM-related topics
  • To educate a growing, multicultural student population
  • Incorporate new models for inclusive education

What makes a great elementary school teacher?

Someone who is:

  • Passionate about working alongside young minds
  • Confidently speaking with students in small and large group settings
  • Comfortable in implementing school procedures and managing classrooms full of diverse students with different learning abilities
  • Knowledgeable about progress indicators
  • Expert in K-12 Curriculum
  • Ability to work with others collaboratively and flexible
  • Be patient and be resourceful
  • Consistent, present and consistent
  • Are you ready to make learning fun?

In-depth information for elementary school teachers

Kindergarten through fifth grade teachers must be prepared to teach children aged 5-12 years old. Some elementary schools might also have grade six. Private and rural public schools may include seventh and eighth grades.

Elementary school teachers have the opportunity to teach a wide range of subjects, unlike their counterparts at middle and high schools, which usually focus on one subject. Elementary school teachers need to have excellent curriculum knowledge, regardless of whether they are teaching kindergarten or fifth grade. Teachers at this age level need to have a broad understanding of the general education curriculum as well as a solid foundation for early childhood development.

Teachers in elementary schools should be able to teach basic sentence structure, English grammar rules, spelling and spelling. Teachers are expected to also teach introductory math. These include addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, weights, measures, and other math concepts. They might also teach history, science, social studies and art depending on the school.

Teachers may become more skilled in specific subjects as the grades increase, especially for sixth, fifth, and sixth grade. Students will spend part of their day in mathematics and then move on to writing and reading classes. This allows for balanced curriculum instruction by two or more teachers.

Elementary school teachers are often responsible for supervising classroom assistants as well as parent/teacher supporters. Elementary school teachers can also supervise recess and coach sports teams. They might also assist with student body elections, talent shows, and plays.

Online teaching elementary school

Online tools are becoming more common and the possibilities for elementary school teachers who want to leverage computers and multimedia technology will only grow.

Online teaching is an option for elementary education due to the advancements in computer technology and the growing demand for elementary school teachers.

An ever-growing number of online learning tools is a result of the increasing demand. These tools include social media and internet research that connect teachers and students with experts in their field. They can also offer real-time audio and face to face videoconferencing. Online teaching can be used to teach grammar, phonics and writing skills in a way that was cost prohibitive ten years ago.

Elementary teachers must be certified and educated.

  • Education: Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree
  • A typical study time is 4-6 years

Teachers in elementary schools must have at least a bachelor’s in teaching or in a subject-specific field, and a teaching certificate that complies with state requirements.

The majority of future elementary teachers enroll in teacher education programs at college. These programs provide teachers with classroom management skills and curriculum development. They also include a semester-long teaching practicum.

Special education training is a top choice for school leaders looking to fill elementary school teacher positions. This is because special education training has become a must-have for school leaders who are trying to fill the growing demand for inclusive classrooms in which students with learning, cognitive, or physical disabilities can learn alongside those without disabilities. Dual degrees may be obtained in teaching or a specific discipline.

Elementary school teachers who are interested in master’s degrees should not be confused with other programs. Elementary teachers may be interested in a master’s degree.

  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
  • Early childhood education
  • Special education and inclusive classrooms
  • Methods and curriculum for teaching

Elementary school teachers must be certified

To become an elementary teacher, you will need a state-issued teaching license or certificate. Private schools, parochial schools, and faith-based schools may have different requirements for elementary teachers.

The requirements for licensure and certification of elementary teachers vary from one state to the next. Nearly all states require that teachers take professional development courses in order to be certified.

Teaching license reciprocity by state: For regulations in your state, visit our state-by state teacher licensing and reciprocity pages.

It is becoming more popular to obtain alternative certification. A quarter of all teachers are certified through alternative routes. Due to fluctuating teacher shortages states offer alternative routes for those with bachelor’s degrees to become teachers.

Employment projections and salary projections for elementary school teachers

The salaries of elementary school teachers vary by state and school district. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of elementary teachers is $57 980. The lowest 10% earn less that $37,780 while the highest 10% earn over $95,270. The salaries of elementary school teachers in the United States range from $37,780 up to $89,749. According to CareerExplorer.com

According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average salary for elementary teachers starting in a state ranges from $29,144 up to $41,179.

Here’s a snapshot of elementary school teacher salary:

  • CareerExplorer.com: $58,230
  • Glassdoor.com: $47,263
  • Salary.com: $58,270
  • Payscale.com: $45,257

The BLS projects a 3% annual growth rate in elementary teacher employment through 2028. The region’s employment growth will differ as the state and local governments determine how they hire teachers within their education system. Elementary teachers will be needed to replace the retiring or leaving the profession.

There are advantages and disadvantages


  • Sharing your passion for educating young minds
  • Making a difference
  • There are no two days the same.
  • Early childhood development requires that you dedicate time and your skills
  • Instilling knowledge, and launching tomorrow’s learners on an educational path
  • Collaboration with other professionals
  • Security of employment


  • Learning difficulties associated with a variety of learning abilities
  • Sometimes it is difficult to implement school and classroom procedures because they are bureaucratic.
  • Teaching children how to concentrate and behave at an early age
  • Pay is generally lower than in other career options
  • The school year is long and exhausting.
  • Standards for state and local government
  • Very little adult contact during the day
  • School funding

Teachers of elementary schools can benefit from professional development

Teachers of elementary can use various technology to enhance their professional development. Software programs are available to assist teachers in planning, distributing, and enhancing lessons.

The use of podcasts and videos in technology today is appealing to elementary teachers. This allows them to expand their computer skills as well as help students learn new subjects. Elementary school teachers can make use of computers to improve reading and writing skills by encouraging students to include graphics, photos, or videos in their assignments.

These associations are great resources for elementary school teachers. These associations offer correspondence courses as well as one-day seminars, symposiums, or other opportunities to help elementary school teachers improve their understanding of the curriculum. Many associations offer courses that help elementary teachers use computers in their classrooms.

No matter if it is an annual three-day conference or an online webinar, continuing education enhances teaching skills and expands knowledge about best practices in education. Online webinars and professional conferences offer a great way to improve one’s knowledge of primary education and meet other teachers.

Associations for elementary school teachers

Best of the Web

Elementary school teachers can use the internet to research, plan lessons and present their ideas. These are our top picks:

Favorite websites for elementary teachers

Follow your favorite elementary teacher’s Instagram and Twitter accounts