Private Elementary School Teacher: Career Profile and Education Info

Explore the career requirements for private elementary school teachers. Get the facts about education requirements, getting licensed, job responsibilities, career outlook and potential salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Private Elementary School Teacher?

Private elementary school teachers teach at private schools, such as boarding, religious or other privately funded institutions. As an elementary school teacher, you will typically teach first grade through fourth or fifth grade, though at some schools, you can also teach sixth through eighth grade. You'll develop and implement curricula on a range of subjects, such as math, reading, science, and social studies, and you'll grade students' assignments and monitor their progress. You'll also work with students one-on-one to overcome individual learning challenges, as well as to prepare them to take state-required standardized tests. You will also need to develop classroom rules that help teach young children appropriate behavior. Regular communication with parents about the progress of their child is a common job requirement as well.

If this career appeals to you, refer to the table below for more information.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Field of Study Elementary education or related field
Licensure Some private schools require a state teaching license
Key Responsibilities Plan lessons that foster student growth, evaluate students on their strengths and weaknesses, enforce classroom rules, and communicate with students' families
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Median Salary (2015) $54,890*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Do as a Private Elementary School Teacher?

Private elementary school teachers work at primary or combined (grades K-12 or 1-12) schools that are privately funded, such as boarding schools, schools for children with special needs or religious institutions. Since these schools are privately funded, they don't need to meet the same requirements as government-funded schools. If you want to become a private school teacher, it may be best to treat your education as an aspiring public school teacher would. This allows you to have additional employment opportunities and movement between schools.

Some of your teaching and assessment duties include developing a curriculum, meeting with parents, introducing children to school rules and managing a classroom. Through play and instruction, you'll introduce children to math, science, literature and writing. Your primary goal is to help children grow socially and mentally. Additionally, you'll typically enjoy smaller class sizes than do your public school counterparts due to smaller overall enrollment numbers at private schools.

What Is the Job Outlook for this Career?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that jobs for all kindergarten and elementary school teachers will grow by 6% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Salaries for these teachers vary by location and employer, but the median annual salary for all elementary school teachers was $54,890 as of May 2015. However, the BLS states that while private school teachers may be given benefits that are not given to public school teachers, they don't make as much as their public school counterparts.

What Should I Study?

Private schools generally require their teachers to have a bachelor's degree or higher, along with previous experience working with children. You should consider seeking a degree in elementary education, or a program with courses that focus on education and child development. You'll also need to complete a student teaching internship.

What Else Will I Need?

Private school teachers don't always need to be licensed. Becoming licensed means you can look for jobs with public schools. Every state has different requirements to become licensed. However, most require a bachelor's degree, completion of a teacher training program, completion of supervised teaching practice and a competency exam. Some also require that teachers earn a master's degree after earning their license.

In addition, the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards offers national certification for teachers (www.nbpts.org). These voluntary certification exams can be taken under a number of subjects, including general elementary education.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you enjoy working with children, you might also consider becoming a teacher assistant. They work in classrooms, under the supervision of a teacher, to give additional assistance as needed and must have some college coursework, but no degree. Related career options that require a bachelor's degree include middle school and high school teachers, as well as special education teachers, who teach students with a variety of special needs and disabilities. Career and technical education teachers also require a bachelor's degree, but focus on imparting skills and knowledge related to a specific career, such as auto repair or healthcare.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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