Elementary and kindergarten teachers work with young children in a school setting. They teach basic subjects such as reading, writing, mathematics and languages. School guidance counsellors also work in elementary schools.
Elementary and kindergarten teachers prepare subject material for presentation to students according to an approved curriculum. They may work collaboratively or individually to deliver a systemic plan of lessons, discussions, audio-visual presentations, field trips and interactive activities. Promoting their students’ physical, mental and social development, along with school readiness, are important parts of these teachers’ jobs.
Elementary and kindergarten teachers may supervise teacher’s aides who are working with children in their classroom.
A Day in the Life
Listen to A Day in the Life
Elementary and kindergarten teachers dedicate themselves to educating young children. A small number of teachers work for the Department of Education in various support or programming roles.
For the most part, elementary and kindergarten teachers perform some or all of the following duties:
Prepare courses for presentation to students according to approved curriculum
Teach students using a systematic plan of lessons, discussions, audio-visual presentations and field trips
Lead students in activities to promote their physical, mental and social development and their school readiness
Assign and correct homework
Prepare, administer and correct tests
Evaluate the progress of students and discuss results with students, parents and school officials
Identify children's individual learning needs
Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help
Participate in staff meetings, educational conferences and teacher training workshops
May supervise teacher’s aides and student teachers
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in Very High demand.
This is a good opportunity for people in rural Yukon as this job is required in most Yukon communities. Earnings in this type of job are higher than the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $63,300 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
Elementary and kindergarten teachers benefit from knowledge of Yukon First Nations culture, history and current-day issues. Having an understanding of the Yukon’s social history is an important part of understanding the social reality currently experienced by Yukon First Nations people. In particular, an understanding of residential schools and the continuing effects of this experience on Yukon First Nations education is critical. For example, one intergenerational effect is that some Yukon First Nation parents may not feel comfortable entering the school or talking to teachers and principals.
Teachers also need to be aware of First Nations learning styles that affect the students' approach to classroom learning and the progress of their education. Teachers need to be familiar with Yukon First Nations curricula and materials that have been developed for various grade levels. Additionally, they should be able to distinguish, support and be committed to Yukon First Nations activities, including the involvement of local Elders and appropriate protocols for their participation.
As Yukon First Nations assume increasing control and responsibility in education, teachers may benefit from reading sections 13 and 17 of the Umbrella Final Agreement. Self-government also creates a continuing demand for First Nations teachers in the school system.
Most teachers in Yukon work in public schools. Teachers work a standard workweek and are required by law to be present at school by a specified hour in the morning. Elementary and kindergarten teachers are part of a larger staff in a school, and from time to time must attend meetings at the end of the school day. These meetings ensure that the school’s activities are well coordinated, that the staff is aware of issues with various students or in the school, amongst other things.
Although much of their time is spent in a school setting, elementary and kindergarten teachers can undertake field trips with their classes outside of the school grounds.
Teachers work, on average, more than 40 hours per week during the school year. Coaching, offering extra support to students, staff meetings, and meetings with specialists and parents all occur outside of school hours, which are generally between 8:30 a.m. –3:15 p.m. In Yukon, teachers normally have two weeks of holidays at Christmas, two weeks in March, and seven weeks in the summer.
Some sample job titles are:
Elementary school teacher
Primary school teacher
Elementary school teacher, English as a second language
Elementary school teacher, French as a second language
French immersion teacher, elementary school
Librarian, elementary school
Special education teacher, elementary school
Supply teacher, elementary school
Other Related Jobs
School and Guidance Counsellors (4143)
Elementary School Principal
How Do I Get There
Every person employed as a teacher, principal or superintendent in the Yukon public school system is required to have a teaching certificate issued by the Yukon Department of Education. The only exceptions are some substitute teachers, who require a letter of permission from the Department of Education and are permitted to fill in for an absent teacher if no qualified teacher is available.
The Professional Certificate for teachers requires a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree or a bachelor's degree in another field combined with at least a year of teacher training.
Students can complete their education degrees in Yukon and qualify for the Professional Certificate through the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program (YNTEP). This program originally accepted only First Nations students, but now accepts applications from all students. The four-year program is offered by the Yukon Department of Education in conjunction with Yukon College and the University of Regina. Students receive their degrees from the University of Regina.
Other students choose to go outside Yukon to complete education degrees. However, they can complete one to two years of university classes at Yukon College. The courses can be transferred for full credit to a number of universities.
Most universities and some university colleges offer bachelor's degrees in education. Most also offer one-year or two-year programs for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline and want a diploma or degree in education.
Teachers and counsellors are paid according to their education level and experience. In Yukon, teachers receive salary increments based on their education level and the number of years they have been teaching.