A Career in Teaching

Career Goal - Elementary School Teacher

Part 1 - Career Goal


Career Overview

Elementary school teachers work in public and private schools. They instruct children in grades one through six. Elementary school teachers usually teach one class of 25 children. Sometimes they teach combined grades or subjects.

Career Skills and Interests

Skills needed to be successful in this career:

  • Must be able to communicate
  • Must be able to reason and solve problems
  • Use Math and Science
  • Must manage oneself, people, time, and things
  • Must be able to work with things and other people
  • Must be able to perceived and visualize things

Career Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, elementary school teachers:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of social interaction
  • Communicate with people face-to-face on a daily basis

Physical Work Conditions

  • Work very near others, within a few feet or less.
  • You are exposed to diseases and infections

Work Performance

  • Must be accurate and complete all details of the job.
  • Must make decisions that affect parents and students on a weekly basis.


  • Usually work nine months during the year and have summers off
  • May have to work part time or full time.

Career Wages and Outlook


Minnesota: $57,830

U.S.: $53,590


Minnesota: Good

U.S.: Great

Career Related Occupations

The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, be in the same career ladder, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way.

  • Adult and Vocational Education Teachers
  • Clergy
  • Employee Training Specialists
  • High School Teachers
  • Historians
  • Interpreters and Translators
  • Librarian
  • Middle School Teacher
  • Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers
  • Psychologists
  • School Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Speech Pathologists and Audiologists
  • Teacher Aides

Part Two - Career Program of Study - Elementary Education and Teaching


Career Program Overview

Elementary education and teaching programs prepare people to teach grades one through eight.

In elementary education and teaching students learn to teach all subject areas to young children. They learn to plan lessons and projects designed to motivate and challenge students. They also learn to counsel students and work with families.

Career Program Admission

To go into this program you must have all of the following:

  • 4 Years of English
  • 3 Years of Mathematics
  • 3 Years of Social Studies
  • 2 Years of Science
  • 2 Years of Language

Career Program Typical Course Work

Courses taken during program:

  • Child Psychology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities
  • Diversity in the Classroom
  • Education Psychology
  • Exceptional Children
  • Family, Community, and School Relations
  • Guidance of Social Behavior
  • Measurement and Evaluation
  • Philosophy of Education
  • School Health Education
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Technology in the Classroom

Career Related Programs

The Programs of Study listed below are similar or related to the program you are currently exploring:

  • Child Development
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Early Childhood Education and Teaching
  • Education
  • Education of the Gifted
  • Middle School Education and Teaching
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Assisting
  • Urban Education

Schools that Offer this Program

  • Bemidji State University
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Minnesota State University, Moorhead
  • St. Cloud State University
  • Winona State University

Part Three - College Choice - Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Size and Location

MSU is located in Mankato, Minnesota. Mankato is a city of 55,000 people.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements are as following:

  • Must have a High school diploma or a GED
  • Required Classes:
  1. English: 4 Years
  2. Social Science: 3 Years
  3. Science: 3 Years
  4. Foreign Language: 2 Years
  5. Mathematics: 3 Years
  6. World Culture: 1 Year
  7. History: 1 Year

  • A 21 score on the ACT is recommended
  • Top 50% of Class is recommended

College Expenses

  • In-State Tuition: $7,574 per year
  • Out-of-State Tuition: $17, 811 per year
  • Books and Supplies: $500 - $900
  • Other: $2,052
  • Room and Board (optional): $7,368 per year

Total In-state with Room and Board total: $17,694

Total In-State without Room and Board: $10,326

Total Out-of-State with Room and Board: $27,931

Total Out-of-State without Room and Board: $20,563

Financial Aid/Scholarships & Grants


Need-Based Scholarships & Grants:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
  • Privately-sponsored scholarships and grants
  • School-sponsored scholarships and grants
  • State-sponsored scholarships and grants

Merit-based scholarships and grants

  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • School-sponsored scholarships in academics
  • School-sponsored scholarships in art
  • School-sponsored scholarships in special achievements
  • School-sponsored scholarships for special characteristics


Housing Options:

  1. Resident Hall complex rooms.
  2. Graduate Student Housing


Student Activities:

  1. Choral Groups
  2. Drama or theater group
  3. Newspaper
  4. Orchestra
  5. Radio Station
  6. Student Government

Informational Interview about Career



I interviewed Mr. Willette, a second grade teacher at Saint Clair.

Informational Interview Summary

What did you learn in the interview? I learned that being a teacher takes a lot of preparation and foresight into things. There can be great moments and there can be terrible moments.

What did you like? What didn't you like? I liked that you are in control of what you do. I also liked that you decide what you do for that specific day. I didn't like that the kids don't always listen to what you have to say, but I also know that you can't change them, they are young.

Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation? I discovered that the relationships with the kids can benefit you in the long run.

What advice did you receive? Talk to currents teachers, job shadow if possible, and find ways to volunteer with youth.

Did you discover another occupation to explore? I did not discover another occupation to explore.

How was the work environment? The work environment was warming and self-comforting. It felt nice to be there. It gave me a warm feeling inside.

Do you think you would be happy in this occupation? I think I would love being in this occupation. I am saying this based off of the feeling I received from just being in a classroom.

Gaining Experiences

Career Networking:

Informational Interview:

Job Shadowing:

Temporary Job:

Volunteer Experiences: