Teacher - Primary
(Primary School Teacher, Primary School Principal, Primary Teacher)
Teaching children body movements in a dance activity
Primary school teachers educate primary school children by planning and conducting an education program to develop literacy, numeracy and the physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth of their students.
Duties and Tasks
Primary school teachers may perform the following tasks:
- prepare daily and longer-term lesson plans in accordance with curriculum guidelines
- teach a full range of learning areas, including English (reading, writing, speaking and listening), mathematics, science, technology, society and environment, creative arts, personal development, health and physical education
- develop children's interests, abilities and coordination using creative activities such as art, music and sport
- use computers to assist with lesson preparation, teaching and reporting
- develop and maintain good working habits and discipline in classrooms
- carry out administrative duties
- supervise students during classes and at other times in the school day, including in the playground during breaks
- attend staff meetings and other training and development sessions
- take part in joint decision-making about educational issues
- assess and evaluate students' progress in written and oral work
- discuss students' progress and concerns with parents and administrators
- assist with and organise sporting activities, school concerts and excursions
- prepare for and attend parent/teacher interviews and other functions.
Primary school teachers are usually trained to teach the whole curriculum. Some undertake further studies to become specialist primary teachers who develop and teach programs for students with special needs, rural and isolated children or children for whom English is a second language. In some schools, primary school teachers teach languages other than English if they have the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience.
A teacher librarian - primary manages the school's learning resources in addition to undertaking the duties of a teacher. Teacher librarians play a key role in teaching cross-curricular skills in information literacy and provide professional development for other teachers. They help students to seek, critically evaluate, synthesise and present information using a range of resources and information technologies. They expose students to a variety of genres (writing styles) in print and digital formats, and promote the best quality literature and authors to reflect different cultures and themes. Teacher librarians make sure that the library resource centre is multi-functional and a focal point for student learning.
An Aboriginal education teacher (primary) teaches specially designed programs to Indigenous primary school students.
School subjects that include some aspect of ART provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases an art-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of English provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases an English-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of MATHEMATICS provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a mathematics-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
Workers performing these jobs would usually be expected to spend more than three-quarters of their day indoors, in an office, factory or other enclosed area protected from the weather.
These jobs require moderate or better reading and writing skills. Workers may be expected to prepare, understand or act on written materials, such as letters or reports. People may wish to avoid these jobs if their reading or writing English skills are limited to a small range of words or phrases and symbols. Jobs remaining may still require very basic reading or writing skills.
Included are teaching and teacher support jobs in areas such as early childhood, primary, secondary, vocational and higher education, and in special education, as well as other training jobs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH PEOPLE, to help, inform, teach or treat them. Activities include discussing personal issues, listening to people's problems, and providing advice, instruction, information or treatment to meet their needs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH DATA to order, process or retrieve facts and figures, or to develop or administer policies and procedures. Activities include organising, using or updating information, such as files or accounts, developing or following procedures or systems, and the planning, budgeting, and staffing of an organisation.
Jobs in this group usually require completion of a recognised Bachelor Degree, or extensive relevant experience. Some jobs also require post-graduate study, such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master Degree.
Primary school teachers need to continually update their subject knowledge and teaching methods through private study and professional development activities. With further training and experience, a primary school teacher may be promoted to a position of educational leadership, such as primary school principal.
- enjoy working with children
- creative and organised
- patient in dealing with students of differing abilities
- able to communicate simply and clearly
- prepared to work out-of-school hours.
Teaching children in a dance activity
Related occupation videos
Can't view the videos? See our video help page