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Elementary School Teacher: Reviews & Advice

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How to Get a Job as an Elementary School Teacher

Van Roekel says the hiring process typically includes three steps: a written application or initial interview, which sometimes takes place at a college job fair, a formal interview with the district human resources office and finally an interview with the school principal or school’s hiring committee. Even before that application process begins, though, Van Roekel says aspiring teachers can set themselves apart by earning additional state certifications for specialities such as special or bilingual education.

Interview Questions Submitted by Real Elementary School Teachers

"What do you plan to bring to this school that is different?" - Escambia County Elementary School Teacher Candidate (Pensacola, FL)

"What would you do if you didn't agree with the classroom management technique required by your principal?" - Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Elementary School Teacher Candidate (Nashville, TN)

"What is your philosophy of education?" - Hillsborough County Public Schools Elementary School Teacher (Location Unknown)

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good Above Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility poor Below Average

What is the Job Like?

Elementary school teachers can experience a high level of stress. However, this is largely dependent on the working conditions, size of the class and experience. Veteran educators are able to establish a routine since they usually have prior lesson plans to fall back on. But newer teachers may struggle with the isolation from their colleagues in the classroom, the burden of engineering their own lesson plans and the additional levels of communication between administrators and parents. In theory, the classroom is your kingdom, but some things don’t go as planned. That said, elementary school teachers are given a set curriculum that they must impart to their students. However, the manner in which they educate their students is largely up to them. Administrators will usually grant more liberties to teachers with more experience. The profession lacks the automatic promotion structure familiar to many other professions, which means educators can teach the same grade level for many years, even decades. Teachers seeking to move up into administrative roles often have to earn additional graduate degrees first.

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Last updated by Kimberly Palmer.

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