Elementary School Teachers

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Elementary School Teachers

Elementary School Teachers - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, elementary school teachers:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a very high level of social interaction. They work with children, parents, and other teachers.
  • Communicate with people face-to-face on a daily basis. They also communicate by phone, e-mail, letters, and memos, usually on a weekly basis.
  • Are responsible for the health and safety of the children in their school.
  • Are placed in conflict situations where parents and students might become angry or unpleasant on a weekly basis.
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  • Usually work as part of a team of educators.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Usually work indoors in classrooms. However, they sometimes teach outdoors or supervise playgrounds.
  • Work very near others, within a few feet or less. Working with young children often entails close contact.
  • Are exposed to diseases and infections, such as colds and influenza, on a weekly basis.
  • Are exposed to loud sounds and high noise levels on a weekly basis.

Work Performance

  • Must be accurate and complete all details of the job. Errors or oversights may delay student learning.
  • Often repeat the same activities.
  • Make decisions that strongly impact the school's reputation. Parents often rely on word-of-mouth when making decisions about their children's education.
  • Make decisions that affect parents and students on a weekly basis. They are able to make most of their decisions without consulting another first.
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  • Set most of their daily tasks and goals without talking to a supervisor.
  • Operate by strict weekly and daily deadlines.


  • Usually work nine months during the year and have summers off. Some teach summer school.
  • May work part time or full time. Most work full time.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.