What Does an Elementary School Science Teacher Do?

Elementary school science teachers instruct students about basic scientific concepts. Many teach other subjects as well. This article explains what elementary school science teachers do. Read on for more information about the career of an elementary school science teacher. Schools offering Teaching - Math & Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Depending on the particular grade they teach, elementary school science teachers either teach students science or provide instruction in a number of subjects, including science. Many elementary schools have one teacher per class that teaches all subjects for early grades. They may also have teachers who instruct on individual subjects for older elementary students. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), many schools have general teachers who cover most subjects, but also teachers who specialize in science. In this article, 'elementary school science teachers' refers to any teachers who provide instruction on elementary school science.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Required Education Bachelor's degree; master's may occasionally be required
Licensure Required for all public school teachers
Professional Certification May be required, expectations vary by state
Training Student teaching is required prior to licensure/certification
Similar Occupations Childcare Workers, School Principals, Middle and High School Teachers, Career and Technical Education Teachers, Librarians, School and Career Counselors

Subject Matter

Elementary school science teachers explain concepts such as earth and space science, environmental science, physical science, and life science. The main point of elementary school science lessons is often to pique children's interest in science rather than teach them advanced ideas. Since elementary school children are too young to understand many concepts and theories, teachers often try to find subjects that can be demonstrated in the classroom environment. Lessons involving basic robotics, plant seeds, rocks, and insects are common in an elementary school science classroom.


Typically, elementary school science teachers try to use hands-on approaches when introducing new scientific concepts to make sure students are engaged in learning the material. Teachers often demonstrate scientific phenomena before allowing students to participate themselves. Sometimes, elementary school science teachers assign long-term projects, like watching lima bean seeds grow over time, to help students understand principles that can't be easily demonstrated.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, the projected job growth for elementary school teachers was 6% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS reported the mean annual income for elementary school teachers in May 2014 was $56,830.

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