Elementary School Teacher

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Elementary School Teacher


Elementary school teachers work with children from kindergarten up to the sixth grade. They are involved in not only teaching students educational basics like reading, numbers, language, science and social studies, but they are also key players in the socialization of young people.

Elementary school teachers help children develop into healthy, confident, socially conscious people. They try and instill in students values, attitudes and life skills. They help them out with math problems and teach them to read maps, but they also try and combat extreme shyness, self-esteem problems and extreme agressiveness. They monitor the students for signs of abuse and learning disability, as well.

As well as holding classes, elementary school teachers take students on field trips, coach teams, arrange for enrichment programs, direct plays, choirs and bands.They supervise lunches and playground time. They help students who are having trouble with subjects, and assist with yearbooks and poetry collections. They work long hours to enrich the lives of their students both in the classroom and outside it. They are leaders and motivators who also mark tests, correct homework, and meet with parents. Hopefully, due to their dedication and devotion, their students, will get all As, do their homework perfectly, and the meetings with the parents will be nothing but positive.

Of course, that isn't always the case. A teacher can be motivated and driven, but if a student isn't willing to try, there is nothing the teacher can do. Still, teachers don't give up very easily, and it is their tenacity and stamina that has resulted in many smart, motivated children building on their self-esteem and positive outlook, advancing towards an even brighter adulthood.
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  Average Earnings  
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  Interests and Skills  
Successful elementary school teachers are organized, passionate people, who are as both flexible and firm, driven and relaxed. They should have a genuine interest in young people, as well as a true respect for them. They should be creative, imaginative, and resourceful, with strong leadership qualities. A good sense of humor, loyalty and a good set of morals will also come in handy. They should be decisive, and have problem-solving skills, especially under pressure. They are effective time managers, with fantastic communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as listening skills. They are open to other cultures and beliefs, and must be good motivators. They are also fit, with enough stamina to keep up with schools full of kids, parents and administrative staff who all have problems, concerns, and stories to share.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Prepare subject material for presentation to students according to an approved curriculum
  • Teach students using lectures, discussions, audio-visual presentations, lab experiments, and field trips
  • Assign and correct homework
  • Prepare, administer, and correct tests
  • Evaluate progress of students and discuss results with students, parents, and school officials
  • Participate in staff meetings, educational conferences and teacher training workshops
  • Identify students' learning needs
  • Provide a stimulating learning environment
  • Help students learn appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes
  • Supervise extra-curricular and after-school activities
  • The typical day for an elementary school teacher is long and varied. Most spend some time working with students in classrooms, as well as individually. They also stay after school to prepare and organize for the next day's lessons, give extra help classes, and direct choirs and coach teams. They also prepare tests and mark assignments. They do not get to travel, unless it is on a field trip, and they will only work outdoors if they teach a class like physical education.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Elementary school teachers teach in large urban schools, smaller rural schools and schools everywhere in between. They teach students in classes that range from 15-30 students. They work in classroom settings, often the same room with the same students all day, every day, for the duration of the school year. Some teachers specialize in a subject, like literature or science, and spend time rotating from class to class, giving lessons all over the school.
  • Elementary school teachers work indoors, and spend long hours at the school, especially if they are involved in after-school activities. While they usually work in public schools, some work at boarding schools, private schools, public schools and alternative schools. They usually work alone in their classroom, unless they have a teaching assistant or a student teacher.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Elementary school teachers can become vice-principals, principals, or superintendents. They can turn to politics, get into teaching special education or English as a second language, or go into counseling.

  Educational Paths  
There are a few routes students can take to become a teacher. One way is to complete an undergraduate degree (three to four years of study) and then attend teachers college (one to two years of study). Teacher's college exposes prospective teachers to in-class as well as on-the-job training.

Another option is for students is to combine their academic studies with their professional teaching training. After completing high school, they begin an undergraduate program, and after one or two years of study, they apply to the Faculty of Education (keep in mind though, that in some places you can enter the Faculty of Education directly out of high school). For the next three years, they study education in addition to continuing study in their initial undergraduate degree. At the end of the three-year period, succesful students receive a Bachelor of Education degree and their teaching certification, and they are set to teach!


  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
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University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
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