Elementary School Teacher  What They Do

Just the Facts

Elementary School Teachers - Except Special Education Career Video

Teaches basic academic, social, and other formative skills to pupils in public or private elementary schools.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Teaching/Training pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Instructs students individually and in groups, using various teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, and demonstrations.
  • Adapts teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
  • Establishes clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Establishes and enforces rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible.
  • Meets with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Prepares students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Prepares materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Observes and evaluates students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Reads books to entire classes or small groups.
  • Provides a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Art Teacher -- Instructs pupils in art, such as painting, sketching, designing, and sculpturing.
  • Kindergarten Teacher -- Teaches elemental art, literature, music, personal hygiene, and natural and social science to children from 4 to 6 years of age.
  • Montessori Teacher -- Teaches children according to Montessori theory that states that children learn by observing and manipulating the objects in their environment and that sees teachers more as observers than leaders.