Powerful Geography
Teacher: Kindergarten & Elementary School

Teacher: Kindergarten & Elementary School

Teacher:  Kindergarten & Elementary School


Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview:  Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct young students in basic subjects, such as math and reading, in order to prepare them for middle school. They help students learn and apply important core concepts. Many teachers use a hands-on approach to help students understand abstract concepts, solve problems, and develop critical-thinking skills. For example, they may demonstrate how to do a science experiment and then have the students conduct the experiment themselves. They may have students work together to solve problems. Elementary school typically goes from first through fifth or sixth grades. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically instruct students in several subjects throughout the day. Teachers may escort students to assemblies, recess, or classes taught by other teachers, such as art or music. While students are away from the classroom, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, or meet with other teachers and staff.  In some schools, teachers may work on subject specialization teams in which they teach one or two specific subjects, typically either English and social studies or math and science. Generally, students spend half their time with one teacher and half their time with the other. There are kindergarten and elementary school teachers who specialize in subjects such as art, music, or physical education. Some schools employ English as a second language (ESL) or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) teachers who work exclusively with students learning the English language. These teachers work with students individually or in groups to help them improve their English language skills and to help them with class assignments. Students with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioral disorders are often taught in traditional classes. Kindergarten and elementary teachers work with special education teachers to adapt lesson plans to these students’ needs and monitor the students’ progress. In some cases, kindergarten and elementary school teachers may co-teach lessons with special education teachers.  Teachers must be comfortable with using and learning new technology, including web-based delivery of instruction. With parents, they may use text-messaging applications to communicate about students’ assignments and upcoming events. With students, teachers may create websites or discussion boards to present information, expand a lesson taught in class, or teach lessons entirely online.  Geographic skills and knowledge are important for teachers across all subjects and grades in order to have a broad understanding of the context for human activity.

Geographers at work:  Human geographers, cultural geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Human geography, physical geography, cultural geography, world regional geography, economic geography, environmental geography, political geography; geographic information systems

Skills:  Web-based mapping applications; map reading and interpretation; GPS and geocaching; story maps; geographic information systems; computer and database systems; geographic thinking; problem-based learning models

Occupation Group: Education

Learn more about Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-1

Written by Christopher Anderson


Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct young students in basic subjects in order to prepare them for future schooling.
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct young students in basic subjects in order to prepare them for future schooling.