What Do Elementary School Teachers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary School Teachers teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level.

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Job Description

Job Description

Elementary School Teachers teach students basic academic, social, and other formative skills in public or private schools at the elementary level. They also establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible.

Other tasks include:

  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests.
  • Instruct students individually and in groups, using various teaching methods, such as lectures, discussions, and demonstrations.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students’ behavioral and academic problems.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.

We asked Elementary School Teachers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


73% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 73% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Elementary School Teachers maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations. They assign and grade class work and homework.

A typical day for an Elementary School Teacher will also include:

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among the students for whom they are responsible.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.

We asked some Elementary School Teachers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 18% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 73% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 75% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 45% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 15% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 77% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Elementary School Teachers also attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required. They may also attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Elementary School Teachers Involve parent volunteers and older students in children’s activities to facilitate involvement in focused, complex play. They might also Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students’ needs and progress.

In addition, they Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children’s progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Organize and label materials and display students’ work.

To some Elementary School Teachers, it is also their responsibility to Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students’ progress.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as an Elementary School Teacher, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Elementary School Teachers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day


Do Elementary School Teachers work outdoors?


Once a year

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Artists

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Learn more about Elementary School Teachers

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