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Become A Third Grade Teacher

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Working As A Third Grade Teacher

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $49,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Third Grade Teacher Do

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading. 

Duties

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do the following:

  • Create lesson plans to teach students subjects, such as reading, science, social studies, and math
  • Teach students how to study and communicate with others
  • Observe students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class of students or to smaller groups
  • Grade students’ assignments to monitor their progress
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules to teach children proper behavior
  • Supervise children outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or recess

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers help students learn and apply important concepts. Many teachers use a hands-on approach to help students understand abstract concepts, solve problems, and develop critical thinking skills. For example, they may demonstrate how to do a science experiment and then have the students conduct the experiment themselves. They may have students work together to learn how to collaborate to solve problems.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers generally teach kindergarten through fourth or fifth grade. However, in some schools, elementary school teachers may teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. They typically teach students several subjects throughout the day.

Some teachers may teach in a multilevel classroom that includes students across two or more grades. They may teach the same group of students for several years.

Kindergarten and elementary school students spend most of their day in one classroom. Teachers may escort students to assemblies; to classes taught by other teachers, such as art or music; or to recess. While students are away from the classroom, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.

In some schools, teachers may work in subject specialization teams in which they teach one or two specific subjects, either English and social studies or math and science. Generally, students spend half their time with one teacher and half their time with the other.

Some kindergarten and elementary school teachers teach special classes, such as art, music, and physical education.

Some schools employ teachers of English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Both of these types of teachers work exclusively with students who are learning the English language, often referred to as English language learners (ELLs). The teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and to help them with assignments from other classes.

Students with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioral disorders are often taught in traditional classes. Kindergarten and elementary teachers work with special education teachers to adapt lesson plans to these students’ needs and monitor the students’ progress. In some cases, kindergarten and elementary school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.

Some teachers maintain websites to communicate with parents about students’ assignments, upcoming events, and grades. For students in higher grades, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information or to expand on a lesson taught in class.

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How To Become A Third Grade Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public kindergarten and elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Some states also require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. They typically enroll in their college’s teacher preparation program and also take classes in education and child psychology in addition to those required by their major.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit teach.org.

Some states require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Private schools typically seek kindergarten and elementary school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are generally not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are typically certified to teach early childhood grades, which are usually preschool through third grade, or elementary school grades, which are usually first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States often require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. Although kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do not teach only a single subject, they may be required to pass a content area test to earn their certification. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit teach.org.

Teachers are frequently required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately after graduation, under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing one of these programs.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to undergo a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with teacher assistants and special education teachers. In addition, they need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Creativity. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must plan lessons that engage young students, adapting the lessons to different learning styles.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with kindergarten and elementary-aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that young students can understand. In addition, they must be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt their lessons to meet students’ needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these roles, they help less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals, both of which generally require additional schooling in education administration or leadership.

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Third Grade Teacher Career Paths

Third Grade Teacher
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Supervisor Training Manager
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Coach Adjunct Professor Assistant Principal
Elementary School Principal
12 Yearsyrs
Coach Consultant Principal
High School Principal
9 Yearsyrs
Coach Consultant Adjunct Professor
Department Chairperson
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Project Manager Principal
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Assistant Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Assistant Principal
School Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Adjunct Instructor Assistant Principal
Middle School Principal
11 Yearsyrs
Instructor Music Teacher Kindergarten Teacher
Lead Pre-K Teacher
5 Yearsyrs
Fifth Grade Teacher Math Teacher Education Consultant
Educational Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Director Education Director
Director Of Instruction
7 Yearsyrs
Math Teacher Adjunct Instructor Department Chairperson
Vice Principal
8 Yearsyrs
Leader Program Director Camp Director
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
Elementary School Teacher Math Teacher Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Middle School Teacher Kindergarten Teacher Early Childhood Special Educator
Early Childhood Specialist
5 Yearsyrs
Reading Specialist Principal Elementary School Principal
Curriculum Director
8 Yearsyrs
Elementary School Teacher Adjunct Instructor Department Chairperson
Academic Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Bilingual Teacher 4.6 years
2nd Grade Teacher 3.3 years
5th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
6th Grade Teacher 2.7 years
4th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
8th Grade Teacher 2.5 years
1st Grade Teacher 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Third Grade Teacher
Teacher 12.6%
Internship 2.7%
Tutor 2.7%
Volunteer 1.7%
Top Careers After Third Grade Teacher
Teacher 15.1%
Tutor 2.7%
Coach 2.1%
Principal 2.1%
Instructor 1.6%

Do you work as a Third Grade Teacher?

Third Grade Teacher Demographics

Gender

Female

77.6%

Male

11.9%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.4%

French

11.2%

Japanese

3.9%

Mandarin

2.6%

Korean

2.2%

Italian

1.7%

Portuguese

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Russian

0.9%

German

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Hebrew

0.9%

Urdu

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Romanian

0.4%

Gujarati

0.4%

Thai

0.4%
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Third Grade Teacher Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.3%

Walden University

10.8%

Grand Canyon University

9.9%

Nova Southeastern University

6.9%

National Louis University

5.4%

University of Central Florida

5.3%

University of Houston

5.0%

Northern Arizona University

4.4%

Liberty University

3.8%

Lesley University

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.4%

Wayne State University

3.3%

University of North Texas

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.3%

University of South Florida

3.1%

Florida State University

3.1%

Capella University

3.1%

Lamar University

3.0%

Sam Houston State University

3.0%

Montclair State University

2.9%
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Majors

Elementary Education

35.1%

Education

17.9%

Educational Leadership

8.6%

Early Childhood Education

7.4%

Special Education

5.5%

Curriculum And Instruction

5.3%

Psychology

2.2%

Teaching Assistants/Aides

2.1%

Business

2.1%

School Counseling

2.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.9%

English

1.5%

Interdisciplinary Studies

1.4%

Educational Technology

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Counseling Psychology

0.9%

Human Development

0.9%

Reading Teacher Education

0.9%

Communication

0.8%

History

0.7%
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Degrees

Masters

46.9%

Bachelors

34.7%

Other

11.0%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

2.3%

Associate

1.2%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$49,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$35,000
Min 10%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$49,000
Median 50%
$69,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Third Grade Teacher make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Third Grade Teacher in the United States is $49,554 per year or $24 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $69,000.

Real Third Grade Teacher Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Third Grade Teacher North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Jan 03, 2016 $69,840
Third Grade Elementary Teacher Manhattan Charter School New York, NY Nov 25, 2015 $68,000
Third Grade Teacher North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Jul 01, 2014 $61,460
Third Grade Teacher North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Jul 01, 2014 $57,990
Third Grade French Teacher Ecole Internationale de New York LLC New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $57,700
Third Grade Bilingual Teacher Tyler Independent School District Tyler, TX Aug 13, 2013 $54,000
Third-Grade Elementary Teacher New Vision Learning Academy Monroe, LA Mar 22, 2016 $50,549
Third-Grade Elementary Teacher New Vision Learning Academy Monroe, LA Sep 20, 2015 $50,105
Third-Grade Elementary Teacher New Vision Learning Academy Monroe, LA Sep 30, 2015 $50,105
Third Grade Teacher North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Jun 30, 2011 $46,158
Third Grade Bilingual Teacher Fort Bend Independent School District Fresno, TX Sep 21, 2016 $44,500
Third Grade Teacher Dual Immersion Academy Salt Lake City, UT Jan 22, 2015 $44,250
Third Grade Teacher Dual Immersion Academy Salt Lake City, UT Aug 16, 2014 $44,250
Third Grade Foreign Associate Teacher Lafayette Parish School System Lafayette, LA Sep 02, 2014 $43,297
Third Grade Foreign Associate Teacher Lafayette Parish School System Lafayette, LA Jul 21, 2014 $43,297
Third Grade Teacher Northside Education Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 01, 2015 $43,000
Teacher In The Third Grade Dallas International School Dallas, TX Jul 01, 2014 $41,198

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Top Skills for A Third Grade Teacher

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Thematic Units
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Established and executed classroom management, using individual behavior contracts, peer support groups and positive reinforcement.
  • Served on various committees to facilitate curriculum development in multiple subject areas including principal hiring.
  • Presented lessons that represented a literature-based curriculum as well as thematic units of study.
  • Developed differentiated instructional lesson plans that involved cooperative learning, hands-on experiences, and interdisciplinary teaching.
  • Implemented positive classroom management strategies and developed successful disciplinary programs to handle challenging behavior issues and foster student learning.

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Top 10 Best States for Third Grade Teachers

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Alaska
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York
  6. New Jersey
  7. Michigan
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Oregon
  10. Minnesota
  • (2,185 jobs)
  • (194 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (337 jobs)
  • (407 jobs)
  • (522 jobs)
  • (416 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (273 jobs)

Top Third Grade Teacher Employers

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