The role of an elementary teacher is to ensure that all students — regardless of race/ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status, geography, or English proficiency — master reading and basic arithmetic, are progressing toward state standards, and are ready for the middle grades. Every teacher in these early grades needs the skills to teach reading, english, mathematics, social studies, science and language arts to most students. Elementary teachers are also charged with identifying and addressing student problems early, including physical and social problems that can prevent children from being ready to learn in school. The early grades are the best time to provide quality extra help and time to students because academic skills build on one another; if the foundation for learning is not laid early, students will fall progressively further behind.
Elementary school teachers may perform some or all of the following duties:
- Teach students using a systematic plan of lessons, discussions, audio-visual presentations, and field trips;
- Assign and correct homework;
- Prepare, administer, and correct tests;
- Evaluate the progress of students and discuss results with students, parents, and school officials;
- Identify children's individual learning needs;
- Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help;
- Participate in staff meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops; and
- Supervise teachers' aides and student teachers.