How to Become a Primary School Teacher

Primary School Teacher

A primary school teacher works in a school, teaching children aged between 4-11. Typically, a primary school teacher will instruct one year group and be in charge of their development throughout the entire year.

A primary school teacher instructs children in all areas of their education. They typically look after one year group and teach them most, or all, of their subjects. Primary school teachers will not only play an active role in children’s education but also must have a duty of care over their children and offer them emotional and logistical support when needed. 

The duties of a primary school teacher will entail: 

  • Planning lessons, following a syllabus and drawing on their teaching abilities to create a lesson plan that children will follow, and preparing teaching materials.
  • Classroom organisation, including decorating the space and putting up displays.
  • Instructing children in all areas of their education, teaching them subjects ranging from history, geography, and mathematics. 
  • Collaborating with learning support and teaching assistants. 
  • Ensuring that the space is safe and healthy for children. 
  • Conversing with parents and carers about their children’s progress, either by written reports, phone calls or at parents evenings. 
  • Having a supportive role in all aspects of the child’s wellbeing at school, as well as supporting them if they have any issues in their personal life. 
  • Organising clubs and school trips. 

Most primary school teachers have a degree. This can be in any subject, but if it is not directly involved in primary education, they may have to take a primary school teaching qualification. The qualification will generally be a year in length.

It is also possible to become a primary school teacher through an apprenticeship. This will involve work placements as a teaching assistant before eventually qualifying. Interested candidates should do some volunteering at a school or after school club before applying for courses or apprenticeships – this is generally relatively easy to obtain, particularly if the candidate has a personal relationship to the school (for example, if they went to the primary school as a child). 

Other primary school teacher requirements are various skills. They first should have a solid grounding in general knowledge, including a good understanding of history, geography, science, and other topics relevant to the year that they will be teaching. They will be teaching from a syllabus but should be always eager to learn more information. 

Teachers should have creative abilities and be able to design fun and engaging courses for students. They must also be great communicators and be able to collaborate with teaching assistants, headteachers and other professionals working in child support. 

Attitude is crucial for a primary school teacher. They should have an upbeat personality and be able to encourage their students while also being good with discipline. They should inspire their students to do well, but also not tolerate any bad behaviour. Empathy is essential for a teacher, as they will sometimes need to get to the heart of why a student is not performing as they should.

Teachers work relatively long days, and often have marking to do in the evening and at the weekends. While they do enjoy long holidays, they are unable to take any time off during term time and the job can be physically and emotionally challenging. 

Some teachers will progress to be a head of department, deputy headteacher, or a headteacher. There are pay increases with all of these promotions. They could ultimately become a specialist leader of education, who supports teachers across schools. Opportunities for teaching pupils who have special educational needs or other difficulties are available. 


What degree is most commonly held by a Primary School Teacher ?

  • Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education and Teaching
  • Bachelor of Arts, Development and Child Psychology
  • Bachelor of Business Management
  • Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education and Training

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
There are international schools all over the world who hire teachers from different countries. Often, teachers will have luck applying to schools that follow their country’s syllabus overseas. However, private international skills are always keen to hire well-qualified teachers from any background.   International schools are typically private, with students from all over the globe. Teachers working in these schools should know cultural differences and be able to adapt to new working environments.  

What is the Salary of a Primary School Teacher ?

Experience Average salary | year
Primary School Teacher 1-3 yrs $38,098 £33,100 $38,000
Primary School Teacher 3-5 yrs $59,234 £50,000 $44,363
Head Teacher 5-10 yrs $70,896 £60,000 $69,348

What skills are needed to become a Primary School Teacher ?

  • Teaching
  • Microsoft Office
  • Customer Service
  • Public Speaking
  • Leadership
  • Curriculum Development
  • Teamwork
  • Lesson Planning
  • Classroom Management
  • Research
  • Microsoft Word
  • Social Media
  • Time Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Tutoring
  • Communication
  • Educational Leadership
  • Management
  • Elementary Education
  • Coaching
  • Classroom
  • Education
  • Staff Development
  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum Design

Primary School Teacher Courses

Candidates learning to become a primary teacher will benefit from taking some relevant courses, both to help them with teaching skills and the necessary knowledge. Learning about creating an inclusive classroom is very beneficial for teachers to know, and an example of learning about a particular subject is this course about teaching primary science.

Candidates learning to become a primary teacher will benefit from taking some relevant courses, both to help them with teaching skills and the necessary knowledge. Learning about creating an inclusive classroom is very beneficial for teachers to know, and an example of learning about a particular subject is this course about teaching primary science.

  • Teaching Primary Science: Exploring Space

    Plan your own space week and learn how space exploration can inspire your primary school science students to work scientifically

  • Bullying in Schools: How Should Teachers Respond?

    Learn practical strategies you can use to support children and minimise bullying in your school and classroom

  • Teaching Languages in Primary Schools: Putting Research into Practice

    Discover engaging age-appropriate teaching methods and ideas to enhance your foreign languages teaching skills for children

  • Teaching Programming in Primary Schools

    Understand key programming concepts and apply them using Scratch with this introductory course for primary or K-5 teachers

  • Our Solar System and Beyond: Teaching Primary Science

    Improve your knowledge of space science to help you deliver primary science lessons that are out of this world

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