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Elementary school teachers are trained to provide education to children from kindergarten through fifth grade. The teachers are responsible for children's emotional and educational growth in the classroom. They manage the resources and materials to be used for their education. It is part of their duties to evaluate the students' performance, social development, physical health, and behavior. Also, they adapt to teaching methods and instructions to meet the interests and needs of the children.

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Elementary School Teacher Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real elementary school teacher resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage a 4th grade classroom and prepare them for the TAKS test.
  • Deliver rigor throughout each lesson in order to achieve success on the FCAT and FSA tests.
  • Develop innovative approaches to literacy development and mathematics teaching.
  • Assess students' in reading comprehension, fluency, word per minute using DIBELS, to assess grade level readiness.
  • Differentiate lessons to fit the needs of students in the ESL program, students with special needs, and gift students.
  • Create innovative PowerPoint presentation for daily lesson.
  • Create various PowerPoint presentations for multiple projects.
  • Facilitate instructions using differentiation for ESL and general students.
  • Implement culturally responsive teaching through literature in a diverse classroom.
  • Specialize in the education of mathematics in a co-teaching classroom environment.
  • Utilize technology in classroom including basic computer skills and Internet technology.
  • Facilitate literature circles to increase student enjoyment of reading and positive communication skills.
  • Facilitate reading and writing workshops that promote student literacy and an early enjoyment for various types of literature.
  • Collaborate with other teachers or administrators to develop, evaluate, or revise kindergarten or elementary school programs.
  • Participate in teacher initiate development opportunities, which include discussions about literacy, lesson study, and professional book club.

Elementary School Teacher Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, elementary school teacher jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become an elementary school teacher?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of elementary school teacher opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 53,100.

On average, the elementary school teacher annual salary is $54,561 per year, which translates to $26.23 an hour. Generally speaking, elementary school teachers earn anywhere from $39,000 to $75,000 a year, which means that the top-earning elementary school teachers make $36,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become an elementary school teacher, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a 5th grade teacher, 2nd grade teacher, teacher, and pre-k teacher.

Elementary School Teacher Jobs You Might Like

12 Elementary School Teacher Resume Examples

Elementary School Teacher Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Elementary School Teachers are proficient in Classroom Management, Student Learning, and Professional Development. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Patience, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Elementary School Teachers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Classroom Management, 17%

    Create lesson plans based on long term curricular goals Develop classroom management system and procedures Participate in professional development workshops and discussions

  • Student Learning, 12%

    Modified general education curriculum for regular and special-needs students based upon a variety of assessments to enhance student learning and success.

  • Professional Development, 7%

    Prepare and present various materials for professional development seminars; Attend professional development seminars; and other duties as assigned.

  • Mathematics, 6%

    Developed curriculum for a 32 student classroom that fostered independence and encouraged social development while teaching reading, writing and mathematics.

  • Instructional Materials, 5%

    Collaborate with grade-level colleagues to gather data, analyze findings, develop curriculum, formulate instructional strategies, and administer assessments.

  • Special Education, 5%

    Modified curriculum and implemented accommodations for special education students and other general education students experiencing difficulty meeting grade level standards.

"classroom management," "student learning," and "professional development" aren't the only skills we found elementary school teachers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of elementary school teacher responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for an elementary school teacher to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a elementary school teacher resume, you'll understand why: "teachers need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a elementary school teacher in order to "prepare lessons that reflect accommodations for difference in student learning styles through organizing information, effective communication and strong interpersonal skills. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many elementary school teacher duties rely on patience. This example from a elementary school teacher explains why: "kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material." This resume example is just one of many ways elementary school teachers are able to utilize patience: "advanced patience and communication skills worked within small groups and 1 on 1 with students"
  • Elementary school teachers are also known for physical stamina, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a elementary school teacher resume: "working with kindergarten- and elementary-age students can be tiring" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "implemented ieps for developmentally disabled students while daily monitoring a physically challenged student with epilepsy requiring extra support and attention. "
  • See the full list of elementary school teacher skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming an elementary school teacher. We found that 72.6% of elementary school teachers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 18.4% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most elementary school teachers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's impossible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every nine elementary school teachers were not college graduates.

    Those elementary school teachers who do attend college, typically earn either a elementary education degree or a education degree. Less commonly earned degrees for elementary school teachers include a early childhood education degree or a psychology degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become an elementary school teacher. We've found that most elementary school teacher resumes include experience from Chester Community Charter School, KinderCare Education, and Edmond Public Schools. Of recent, Chester Community Charter School had 166 positions open for elementary school teachers. Meanwhile, there are 62 job openings at KinderCare Education and 19 at Edmond Public Schools.

    Since salary is important to some elementary school teachers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Columbia University in the City of New York, Springfield City Library, and Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. If you were to take a closer look at Columbia University in the City of New York, you'd find that the average elementary school teacher salary is $78,300. Then at Springfield City Library, elementary school teachers receive an average salary of $68,976, while the salary at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School is $68,765.

    View more details on elementary school teacher salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious elementary school teachers are:

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    What 5th Grade Teachers Do

    A 5th Grade Teacher is responsible for educating children and teaching them subjects like math, English, science, or art. They work in a public or private school at the elementary level.

    In this section, we compare the average elementary school teacher annual salary with that of a 5th grade teacher. Typically, 5th grade teachers earn a $5,502 lower salary than elementary school teachers earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both elementary school teachers and 5th grade teachers positions are skilled in classroom management, student learning, and professional development.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because an elementary school teacher responsibility requires skills such as "grade level," "learning activities," "internet," and "physical education." Whereas a 5th grade teacher is skilled in "faculty meetings," "data analysis," "summative assessments," and "plc." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    5th grade teachers really shine in the education industry with an average salary of $48,683. Whereas elementary school teachers tend to make the most money in the education industry with an average salary of $53,470.

    The education levels that 5th grade teachers earn is a bit different than that of elementary school teachers. In particular, 5th grade teachers are 4.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an elementary school teacher. Additionally, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a 2nd Grade Teacher?

    A 2nd-grade teacher specializes in educating young children, providing them with a safe and efficient classroom environment. One of their primary responsibilities is to devise strategies to improve the students' academic knowledge and interpersonal skills, craft effective lesson plans, and enhance their reading and writing skills. Moreover, a teacher must assess the students' progress by conducting tests and quizzes, encouraging them to learn through various activities, monitoring the children's behavior, and reporting to their parents should there be any concerns.

    Now we're going to look at the 2nd grade teacher profession. On average, 2nd grade teachers earn a $6,203 lower salary than elementary school teachers a year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both elementary school teachers and 2nd grade teachers are known to have skills such as "classroom management," "student learning," and "professional development. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, elementary school teacher responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "mathematics," "learning activities," "internet," and "physical education." Meanwhile, a 2nd grade teacher might be skilled in areas such as "thematic units," "extracurricular activities," "kindergarten," and "bulletin boards." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On average, 2nd grade teachers earn a lower salary than elementary school teachers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, 2nd grade teachers earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $47,724. Whereas, elementary school teachers have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $53,470.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, 2nd grade teachers tend to reach similar levels of education than elementary school teachers. In fact, they're 2.5% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Educators in the next 3-5 years?

    Janet Gray Ph.D.

    Professor and Department Chair, The College of New Jersey

    WGSS graduates enter every employment sector, so technological trends for our graduates will follow various sectors' directions. Among the most common careers for WGSS graduates are law, social work, and education. The capacity to work remotely, and do so effectively--may depend more on having access to sound technology and good training, and devising more effective ways to use the tools available, than on any new technology becoming available.Show more

    How a Teacher Compares

    Being a teacher is one of the most passionate professions, among others. Teachers educate, motivate, and guide every generation of learners to prepare them for the real world. Every teacher is unique and has their own teaching styles and methods depending on the subject they teach and the age of their students. Oftentimes they also function as a parent, counselor, coach, friend, and even a lawmaker. There is essentially no limit to the roles a teacher portrays.

    Let's now take a look at the teacher profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than elementary school teachers with a $7,067 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several elementary school teachers and teachers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "classroom management," "student learning," and "professional development," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from elementary school teacher resumes include skills like "internet," "physical education," "k-5," and "parent-teacher conferences," whereas a teacher might be skilled in "geography," "literature," "cpr," and "curiosity. "

    Teachers make a very good living in the retail industry with an average annual salary of $49,095. Whereas elementary school teachers are paid the highest salary in the education industry with the average being $53,470.

    Teachers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to elementary school teachers. Additionally, they're 3.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Pre-K Teacher

    Pre-K teachers play an essential role in the lives of young children ages three to five years old by developing and nurturing their interest in subjects appropriate for their age. They promote a creative learning environment and encourage social interactions among students while providing the fundamental educational foundation that will prepare them for a successful start to kindergarten. They are responsible for overseeing children during their mealtimes, reinforcing personal hygiene, and developing children's social skills. Pre-K teachers also plan curriculum and work with other school staff members.

    Now, we'll look at pre-k teachers, who generally average a lower pay when compared to elementary school teachers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $23,343 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, elementary school teachers and pre-k teachers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "classroom management," "student learning," and "professional development. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "grade level," "public schools," "internet," and "physical education" are skills that have shown up on elementary school teachers resumes. Additionally, pre-k teacher uses skills like pre-kindergarten, pre k, cpr, and child care on their resumes.

    Pre-k teachers reach lower levels of education when compared to elementary school teachers. The difference is that they're 6.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.