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Elementary School

By: Skylar Fischer

Job Description
Elementary school teachers teach children from
kindergarten up to grade six.
They introduce children to the educational basics:
numbers, language, science, and social studies. Teachers
also teach students values, attitudes, and life skills.
They work with parents to help the children reach their
full potential by having conferences and make sure that
key people know about any problems they see, such as
shyness, learning disorders, and much more.
When not with their class, teachers spend their time
putting together lesson plans for upcoming classes and
marking students work. Part of their job is figuring out
interesting ways to teach and engage the students like
using hands-on activities, lectures, group discussions,

Working Conditions
Elementary school teachers are employed by different kinds of
school boards and they usually work independently, in classrooms
of 15 to 30 students.
Teachers work between 8-10 hours a day on weekdays doing
various jobs like marking assignments and planning. Often they put
in additional hours over the weekend. This adds up to about 50 or
more hours per week.
On average, teachers work a 9-10 month school year, with 2 or 3
months off over the summer. However, much of the summer is
spent preparing for the next school year or taking professional
development courses to upgrade skills.

Elementary school teachers salaries depend on their level of
education, experience, location, and employer.
Entry-level salaries start at about $35,000 a year. Experienced
teachers typically make between $35,000 and $85,000 a year.
Those with a masters degree usually earn more.
Depending on the province and school board, teachers may
not get extra pay for the time they spend on extracurricular
activities like coaching a team or supervising a club.
Public school teachers belong to unions that negotiate wages,
benefits, hours, and conditions of employment on their behalf.
Usual benefits include contributions to a retirement savings
plan, dental and health benefits, and life insurance.

Education and Training

To become a teacher you need to gain the following degrees and

Bachelors degree
Bachelor of Education degree
Teaching certificate

Many teachers go on to earn masters degrees in education.

Elementary teachers get a broad education in subjects like English, Math,
Art, and Music, as well as specific training in the teaching of young
After successfully completing the education and practical requirements to
become a teacher, you must apply for certification with your provinces
certifying agency.
Eventually teachers may decide become principals.

Other Suggested
Elementary teachers should enjoy spending time with children. They
should be patient, calm, and understanding. Teacher education
programs look for applicants who are emotionally mature, enthusiastic,
and show a sincere interest in young people. Its a good idea to do
some part-time or volunteer work with community programs for
children. Teachers should also be good communicators.

Program Description
There are two way to achieve your Bachelors in education:
One way to become a teacher is to complete a bachelors degree (3
to 4 years of study) and then attend teachers college (1 to 2 years
of study). Teachers college combines professional studies and inclass teaching experience.
The other path is a combination of academic study and professional
teachers training. After completing high school, you begin a
bachelors degree. After 1 or 2 years of study, you apply to the
Faculty of Education (in some provinces you can enter education
programs directly out of high school). For the next 3 years, you study
education and complete practice teaching requirements while
continuing to study in your initial discipline. At the end of that 3-year
period, you receive a Bachelor of Education degree.
You may go on and take a Masters Degree

Sample Career Path

There are three different levels of sample careers when I come to
Elementary School Teaching
Level One
Level Two
Sample Title:

Probationary Teacher


$35,000 to $45,000 a year



Bachelors degree
Bachelor of Education degree
Teaching certificate

Sample Title:



$40,000 to $85,000 a year


At least 1 year of experience as a

probationary teacher


Teaching classes; ordering books;

planning lessons; marking; mentoring
student teachers; supervising extracurricular activities; conducting parentteacher interviews; performing some
administrative duties.

Teaching class; marking papers;

preparing lessons; performing some
administrative duties; meeting with

Level Three
Sample Title:

Vice-Principal or Principal


$60,000 to $100,000 a year


Several years of experience as a teacher

Possibly a masters degree in education


Doing less teaching; having more administrative and managerial

responsibilities; dealing with serious disciplinary problems; dealing with
parents problems or complaints; setting school policy.

Related Careers
Here are some related careers to Elementary School Teachers:
Adult Education Teacher
Career Counsellor
Child and Youth Worker
Early Childhood Educator
ESL Teacher
Foreign Language Instructor
High School Teacher
Middle School Teacher
Music Teacher / Instructor
School Counsellor
Social Worker
Special Education Teacher

Other Organizations
There are a variety of different types of work you can do as an
Elementary School Teacher:
You can work in public school boards
~ex. Waterloo Regional District School Board
You can work in catholic school Boards
~ex. Toronto Catholic District School Board
You can work in private school boards
~ex. Ontario Federation of Independent Schools

Interesting Facts
92% of teachers spent their own money on their students or
classrooms during the 2007-2008 school year.
61% of adults think teachers are underpaid given their level
of training and importance to society.
Teachers make 14 percent less than people in other
professions that require similar levels of education.
46 percent of teachers in public schools leave the profession
within five years.