Elementary School Teacher

Meet Angie. She's been a 2nd-Grade Teacher for 9 years.

Elementary school teacher

Job Summary

As an elementary teacher, it's my responsibility to instruct, observe, and evaluate student performance, behavior, social development, and physical health. It's also my responsibility to establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining classroom management.

Career Path

I received my bachelor’s degree from Washington State University. It was there that I decided to become a kindergarten teacher. As I continued through coursework, I observed and participated in many primary (K-2) classes through practicums. The more I observed and participated in kindergarten classes specifically, the more I realized it wasn't for me. I found instructing 2nd graders much more enjoyable. I liked how they were a little more independent. I have now been teaching 2nd grade for 9 years. Time flies!

Key Skills

Hard Skills

  • Seems obvious - teaching
  • Microsoft Office
  • Lesson planning
  • You'll need to be comfortable working on a computer

Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Discipline
  • Willing to learn and grow
  • Creative

Work/Life Balance

My first year teaching was hard, to say the least. I was required to attend training throughout the year, and learn the curriculum I was to teach. All of this while working on my Master’s degree at the same time. I would go into my classroom every weekend to grade work and complete a lot of little tasks.

By about the 3rd year of teaching, classroom management, curriculum planning, and implementation of formative and summative assessments became more manageable.

For me, a healthy work/life balance is a must. Being a teacher, I'm able to enjoy both vacation time and summers off with my young son and husband.

I'm excited to be a teacher because when my son begins school, we will have the same days off!

Pay

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national estimate (US) for Elementary School Teachers is $57,160 annually (median). National wage estimates by percentile:

10th percentile 25th percentile 50th percentile 75th percentile 90th percentile
$37,340 $45,330 $57,160 $73,610 $92,770

Career Advice

The best advice I can give to those interested in education is to have a willingness to learn, yourself. Best practices and strategies are delivered via training throughout the year, and your administration will likely expect you to attend and implement key learnings into your instruction. My goal has always been to try one new training per year. You can imagine how this cadence has helped me grow and develop over time. The key, however, is to reflect on all learnings at the end of each year and to commit to the application of refined strategies the following year.