Elementary School Teacher Career Trends

Job trends for the elementary school teacher are subject to the vagaries of funding and school structures.

The Elementary School Teacher Employment Market

To understand the job trends, you need to understand the job market. The basic job market is somewhat limited by nature. This isn't a particularly flexible job market, and while new schools do start up in urban development areas, the job market isn't exactly dynamic.

Despite many advances in elementary education, teacher careers also need to develop. Linear progression in school systems goes only so far, and teachers often want to do more. Highly motivated individuals often want to specialize in particular areas.

Nevertheless elementary school teaching has expanded, a fact which the job market reflects. The range of subjects and educational options has diversified greatly, and those changes affect the teaching mix and range of available career situations. 

Greater Emphasis on Special Education

Like all professions, elementary teaching offers some unique and rewarding career streams within the wider job market. Special education is one of the major career trends. This is a sector demographic which has expanded to meet community demand, and it includes some of the most skilled areas of teaching.

Teacher Placement Options

The job market itself has also created some special career streams. Some non-profit organizations, for example, operate in the U.S. to place teachers in low-income schools. This type of teaching is actually an advanced educational schematic, working in a specific social context. It leads, in career terms, to higher jobs dealing with districts and specific-needs areas. These types of placement options vary.

Areas of Specialization for the Elementary School Teacher

With the many advances in education, different functions have also expanded the teaching functions and degrees of specialization for the elementary school teacher. As well as the basic teaching role, an elementary school teacher could adopt any of the following specializations:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Tutoring (all subjects)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Special needs
  • Computer skills
  • Library/media

These specialties can include multiple areas of teaching and subjects. They may also include specialists in ranges like K-3 and K-5, or other qualifiers.

Use of Technology

Another trend for today's elementary school teacher is the use of changing technologies in the classroom. Technology and new media are redesigning the education system, teaching jobs and curriculum concepts.

The best options for covering this flux are:

  • Focus on a particular stream of study and qualification. The "stream" approach is easier to work with academic studies, and you can include some new electives pretty easily.
  • Watch the job design and role function issues in your special areas. Your observations serve as advanced notification of new job trends.
  • Keep track of the technology and emerging teaching techniques. This helps you plan ongoing training and also provides some good options for your current job.
  • New education models are expanding, thanks to online and software-based teaching methodologies. Learn how to use and take advantage of these options. Your openness to technology can become a major career asset if you decide to pursue a new elementary school teacher job.