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What Does A Teacher Do?

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.

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

  • Work closely with co-teacher to manage and co-teach curriculum to a large group.
  • Lead debates with advance students on topics including globalization, economics, and political history.
  • Develop social studies and geography curriculum.
  • Attend and participate in ESL professional development activities, conferences/workshops, curriculum/program planning, & special events and activities.
  • Educate kindergarten students in English, math and science.
  • Integrate lessons with district's curriculum and co-taught various lessons with another intern teacher.
  • Engage parents by frequently connecting with them via the internet and other technology driven devices.
  • Assist emotionally disturb students (grades k-12) with extreme behavioral issues in classroom and school bus.
  • Plan fun, engaging and informative English lessons for a variety of ages and skill levels, grades k-12.
  • Collaborate and co-taught with social workers and other teachers to better identify learning styles and accommodate any student as needed.
Teacher Traits
Physical stamina shows that you are able to exert your energy for long periods of time without tiring.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Having patience exemplifies that the individual is able to remain calm during challenging times.

Teacher Overview

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a teacher is "should I become a teacher?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, teacher careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "slower than average" at 3% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a teacher by 2028 is 53,100.

On average, the teacher annual salary is $46,618 per year, which translates to $22.41 an hour. Generally speaking, teachers earn anywhere from $33,000 to $64,000 a year, which means that the top-earning teachers make $34,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a teacher, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include an assistant language teacher, substitute school teacher, math and science teacher, and summer school teacher.

Teacher Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Teachers are proficient in ESL, Literacy, and Classroom Management. They’re also known for soft skills such as Physical stamina, Communication skills, and Patience.

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

  • ESL, 17%

    Designed course and taught ESL Teaching Methodology to university students preparing for teaching careers in all academic disciplines.

  • Literacy, 15%

    Completed a training course in administering and interpreting DIBELS-Dynamic Indicators of Basic Literacy Skills, University of Oregon.

  • Classroom Management, 7%

    Implemented classroom management/behavioral techniques effectively.

  • Professional Development, 6%

    Maintained updated teaching license and participated in professional development courses to make any relevant and necessary changes to foster student learning.

  • Geography, 5%

    Designed, developed, and initiated a Web Based Instructional Project to deliver Oklahoma geography to elementary students.

  • Literature, 5%

    Concentrated on preparing students for college with intense exercises in dissecting literature and perfecting writing skills.

Some of the skills we found on teacher resumes included "esl," "literacy," and "classroom management." We have detailed the most important teacher responsibilities below.

  • Physical stamina can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a teacher to have. According to a teacher resume, "working with kindergarten- and elementary-age students can be tiring" teachers are able to use physical stamina in the following example we gathered from a resume: "educated pre-k students with various activities which included: physical education, art, math and science. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling teacher duties is communication skills. According to a teacher resume, "teachers need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators." Here's an example of how teachers are able to utilize communication skills: "created a professional development plan and worked towards achieving professional development goals, including greater parent communication and involvement. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among teachers is patience. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a teacher resume: "kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "demonstrated patience and understanding while managing difficult children developed and implemented activities for educational learning"
  • In order for certain teacher responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "resourcefulness." According to a teacher resume, "kindergarten and elementary school teachers must be able to get students engaged in learning" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "learned a lot about adaptability, resourcefulness, cultural sensitivity, patience, and tolerance. "
  • See the full list of teacher skills.

    We've found that 43.7% of teachers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 28.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a teacher. While it's true that most teachers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven teachers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

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

    Once you're ready to become a teacher, you should explore the companies that typically hire teachers. According to teacher resumes that we searched through, teachers are hired the most by KinderCare Learning Centers, Learning Care Group, and Education First Credit Union. Currently, KinderCare Learning Centers has 1,673 teacher job openings, while there are 287 at Learning Care Group and 197 at Education First Credit Union.

    If you're interested in companies where teachers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at KLA, DC Public Library, and Boston Public Library. We found that at KLA, the average teacher salary is $82,958. Whereas at DC Public Library, teachers earn roughly $79,179. And at Boston Public Library, they make an average salary of $77,896.

    View more details on teacher salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire teachers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include ESL Federal Credit Union, KinderCare Learning Centers, and Bright Horizons.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious teachers are:

      What Assistant Language Teachers Do

      An assistant language teacher is in charge of performing support tasks for language teachers. Their responsibilities include preparing teaching and coursework materials, assessing student performance, taking attendance records, and holding lectures as a substitute for the teacher. They may also help students who are having trouble following and adjusting to the lessons, assisting them as needed. Above all, an assistant language teacher must monitor the students' progress, all while maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for everyone.

      In this section, we compare the average teacher annual salary with that of an assistant language teacher. Typically, assistant language teachers earn a $17,753 lower salary than teachers earn annually.

      Even though teachers and assistant language teachers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require esl, classroom management, and special education in the day-to-day roles.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A teacher responsibility is more likely to require skills like "literacy," "professional development," "geography," and "literature." Whereas a assistant language teacher requires skills like "english-language," "elementary schools," "direct care," and "high schools." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Assistant language teachers receive the highest salaries in the automotive industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $33,260. But teachers are paid more in the education industry with an average salary of $48,951.

      On average, assistant language teachers reach lower levels of education than teachers. Assistant language teachers are 10.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Substitute School Teacher?

      A substitute teacher is liable for providing learning instruction and managing classroom settings in the absence of the regular teacher. They are responsible for checking student attendance, explaining homework, and maintaining classroom cleanliness. They generally report to the principal at the school to which they are assigned. They plan and prepare lesson plans and teach students a variety of subjects, including English, science, and mathematics. Moreover, they ensure that the students are disciplined, and talk with parents and discuss the progress.

      The next role we're going to look at is the substitute school teacher profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $17,603 lower salary than teachers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Teachers and substitute school teachers both include similar skills like "esl," "classroom management," and "special education" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real teacher resumes. While teacher responsibilities can utilize skills like "literacy," "professional development," "geography," and "literature," some substitute school teachers use skills like "substitute teaching," "after-school program," "k-8," and "county schools."

      Substitute school teachers may earn a lower salary than teachers, but substitute school teachers earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $42,658. On the other side of things, teachers receive higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $48,951.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, substitute school teachers tend to reach similar levels of education than teachers. In fact, they're 4.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

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

      Dr. Diana Jones

      Chair, Department of Kinesiology, Anderson University

      Technology in the next 3-5 years -- That is a tough question because technology is continually changing. However, I would say whatever learning system their school provides (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, etc.), they should get to know. Also, the technology that involves making/editing videos of teaching would be necessary. The technique that includes exercise, fitness, sports such as heart rate monitors, Fitbits, etc. Finally, a technology that allows interactions between teachers and students and students and students.Show more

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


      Dr. Greg Jones

      High School Principal, Orchard Farm High School

      Technology is ever-changing and expanding. I do not see this trend changing. Technical skills will remain important, but there has to be a focus on creativity, imagination, and problem-solving. In schools, we are working to prepare our students for their next steps in life and the workforce. We cannot prepare them for an ever-evolving workforce if we do not focus on these skills that will equip them with what they need to prosper and make our community a beautiful place to live and work.Show more

      How a Math And Science Teacher Compares

      Math and Science Teachers are responsible for imparting knowledge and developing a student's skills in mathematics and science. Their duties include creating lessons, producing learning materials, sourcing supplies, and grading examinations and quizzes. They develop student progress reports, provide constructive feedback, and work with parents to inform a student's educational development. Math and Science Teachers must ensure awareness of special educational needs and health and safety regulations related to subject teachings.

      The math and science teacher profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of teachers. The difference in salaries is math and science teachers making $2,676 higher than teachers.

      By looking over several teachers and math and science teachers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "esl," "classroom management," and "professional development." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from teachers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "literacy," "geography," "literature," and "cpr." But a math and science teacher might have skills like "science curriculum," "physical science," "trigonometry," and "summative assessments."

      Math and science teachers make a very good living in the education industry with an average annual salary of $51,164. Whereas teachers are paid the highest salary in the education industry with the average being $48,951.

      Math and science teachers are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to teachers. Additionally, they're 15.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Summer School Teacher

      A Summer School Teacher is a teacher who works during the summer period. They develop and implement schemes of work and lesson plans in line with curriculum objectives. Generally, they have the same duties as a school teacher.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than teachers. On average, summer school teachers earn a difference of $1,957 higher per year.

      While both teachers and summer school teachers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like esl, literacy, and classroom management, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "geography," "curiosity," "patience," and "old children" are skills that have shown up on teachers resumes. Additionally, summer school teacher uses skills like summer program, k-8, enrichment activities, and extra help on their resumes.

      Summer school teachers earn a higher salary in the education industry with an average of $47,701. Whereas, teachers earn the highest salary in the education industry.

      The average resume of summer school teachers showed that they earn similar levels of education to teachers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 1.8% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.4%.