Being an Elementary School Teacher


Want to Know About Being an Elementary School Teacher? Meet Cindy

By Lindsey Gauthier 


In order to find out what it’s like being an elementary school teacher, we've asked Cindy Tidsbury, who currently works as an Elementary School Teacher in Sturgeon County, Alberta.


What made you decide to become an elementary school teacher?

The joy of working with children and the opportunity to shape a child’s future was definitely an important aspect. I really enjoy working with children as well as using teaching as a chance to continuously learn at the same time.


Working in the school system allows for new experiences each year, as well as the chance to observe how teaching practices are changing and the ripple effects they have on generations as they grow.


How did you become an elementary school teacher?

Schooling for education has changed now, and required is some post-secondary in elementary education or young learning. I have taken many courses and seminars provided through the school system, as extra add-ons for continued learning.


Many of the courses offer certificates for a variety of hurdles that myself and other teachers will deal with throughout our careers. For example: Behaviour, mental and physical disabilities including learning disabilities, and fine/ gross motor skills.


I suggest that you go online and look at elementary teacher job postings and what educational requirements the list, as each school is different, and you may decide that you want to specialize yourself. Certain post-secondary institutions have a plethora of education programs, and even once you are enrolled, you have the chance to move around and find your niche.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with children is challenging, but also very rewarding. Kids have very important thoughts as well as the stereotypical innocence that they are known for.


In elementary, one thing that is enjoyable about specialist positions is planning out fun activities. Many of the planning that I am responsible for is the development of motor skills, which involves themed and seasonal crafts.


What do you least enjoy about your job?

One of the biggest challenges of working in elementary is working with parents and trying to get them to understand their children’s needs.


Often the children are happy with school and understand that they need to listen and follow instructions, but it is the parents that do not utilize the teacher’s knowledge, experience, and education in order to benefit their children.




What part of your job is the most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of working as an elementary school teacher is the opportunity to help society by giving these children a head start, and in a sense raising and shaping the next generation.


It is important for children to start off strong and receive the support and education they need at their young ages. It is amazing to know that you have some influence in these children’s lives and that you are helping them begin many years of learning as well as life lessons.


Is there a good mix of tasks as an elementary school teacher?

Being an elementary school teacher definitely makes for a wide variety of tasks every day. In fact, school seems to be a scheduled activity but the variety and spontaneity of dealing with children is very widespread.


Working in elementary education keeps you on your feet and offers many different daily activities. I spend a portion of my time planning projects, crafts, and curriculum plans for the children, as well as actually carrying out said plans during class time.


Another large portion of working in elementary is the opportunity for classes and sessions to upgrade knowledge and new techniques for managing children in groups and individually. If constant growing and learning is important to you, then working in elementary would be a perfect opportunity to engage in continuous learning.


Do you work alone or in a team?

I work with a team of other teachers in the school, as well as in the classroom. In the classroom often there is a teacher with one or two specialized aides helping out in the classroom.


The more children there are with special needs or any form of physical or mental disability, the more aides that need to be present; there needs to be a certain ratio of aides.


Working with a small team in the classroom is important because the teachers need to communicate and be on the same page in order to properly understand and manage the classroom smoothly.


What advice would you give to students interested in becoming elementary school teachers?

Make sure that you enjoy the trials of working with people in general. You also have to think and do research, because working with kids on a direct and behavioural level is only a portion of the work, you also have to be knowledgeable in several subjects in order to teach them.


If you like dealing with people and have an understandable nature, then you will make a good elementary school teacher. Understanding parents and being diplomatic enough to convince them how to help their child with what he or she needs is a very big part of teaching.


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