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Elementary School Teacher Resume Example & Writing Guide

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Elementary School Teacher Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Elementary school teachers hold a special place in the lives of children. Just think. You probably remember the names and faces of at least a couple of the teachers from your formative years.

Now you’re looking to make a difference in the lives of little ones. Your credentials are in order and now you need an A+ elementary school teacher resume to go with it.

Resume.io is a powerful resource for job seekers, as we provide resume guides and resume examples for 250+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder. Let us help you confidently express yourself and impress employers with an elementary school teacher resume that covers all the common core standards. 

This resume guide, along with the corresponding resume example, will give you an instructional model that explains:

  • What an elementary school teacher does
  • How to write an elementary school teacher resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for an elementary school teacher resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints

What does an elementary school teacher do?

Elementary school teachers work with students in grades K-5. Elementary, right? But that’s just the beginning. Elementary school teachers are responsible for creating lesson plans following the curriculum standards set by the state, district, or school in which they work. They also monitor student progress and assess skill levels.

Because they often teach every subject, elementary school teachers should have basic knowledge of elementary science, literature, and math. They must use multi-sensory and multimodal instructional approaches to differentiate instruction and reach the broadest range of students.

But that is not where the job ends. Elementary school teachers are expected to communicate frequently with parents and collaborate with peers and teacher assistants. They must also complete continuing education credits to keep up their licenses.

Statistical insight

If you’re looking for the biggest payday, head to California. The mean salary for first-fifth grade teachers in May 2020  (excluding special education teachers) was $85,110, compared to the national mean of $65,420. Massachusetts is a close second at $84,810 and New York ranks third at $84,380.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Elementary school teacher job market and outlook

If you are an elementary school teacher or are thinking of becoming one, your job market and the outlook for career opportunities are great! Hybrid and remote teaching during the COVID pandemic has caused significant teacher burnout. In fact, 63 percent of teachers in a nationwide poll conducted by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence reported feeling stressed, 54 percent said they were burned out or fatigued and 47 percent said they experienced substantial anxiety at work. Of those, 38 percent said they were considering a career change. While stressful workplaces are nothing to cheer for, the situation should result in expanded opportunities for you.

As early as 2015-16, the study A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S., by Learning Policy Institute, predicted that by 2025, the demand for teachers would increase to more than 300,000, while the pool of available teachers would shrink to just more than 100,000.

Expert tip

Ranking the states

There are many ways to measure where teachers have it best. WalletHub ranks these states as the top five based on opportunity, competition, academic and work environment:

  1. Washington
  2. Utah
  3. New Jersey
  4. Delaware
  5. Pennsylvania

The bottom five (the list includes Washington, D.C.) are:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Maine
  3. Arizona
  4. New Mexico
  5. New Hampshire

How to write an elementary school teacher resume

Step one in crafting your elementary school teacher resume is the unit overview also known as: Which sections should I include? Just as each lesson follows a basic format but the content changes, so too does your CV. Most resume samples will include the same basic sections. Here are the elements your resume should contain:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

If you know anyone who already works in the district you are applying in, make sure you talk to them first to find out what is important to the administrators there. If you don’t, study the websites of both the district and the individual school. Research the community demographics, the activities the school offers and its educational philosophy and the teaching methods it prefers. These will help you focus your resume appropriately.

Expert tip

Differentiation is a must

Just as you differentiate your lessons to reach all your students, you will need to differentiate your resume. Why? First of all, to match the tone of the school to which you are applying. A private Montessori school will have a different style from a public school or religious school. Second, many schools, especially public school districts, use an applicant tracking system (ATS) from Frontline Education. The software uses algorithms to scan and rank resumes based on factors including keywords and phrases and contact information.

Study the job description and take careful note of what skills and attributes are listed. Try to use the exact words or phrases (if they are applicable) in your resume to cue the ATS that you have what your prospective school district is looking for.

Choosing the best resume format for an elementary school teacher

It’s best to stick with tradition here, which means reverse chronological order or last job first, first job last. If you are looking for your first job, or are a career-changer, you may want to consider a hybrid resume format which begins with a skills or experience section followed by a shorter employment history section.

Reverse chronological order works best because hiring professionals are most interested in where you are now and what your responsibilities are. We don’t recommend a functional resume unless you are moving from a career that has projects and skills that lend themselves to teaching or, for instance, if you will be working at a school that does project-based learning and you can demonstrate that your project management experience translates.

Resume summary example: promote yourself

Your resume summary, or profile, is like your introduction to parents and guardians at the beginning of school. You want to say a little about who you are, how you teach and your experience. Put your best foot forward here by inserting an anecdote about a student success or use data to show how you help students progress in their education.

Include a statement of your educational philosophy. Try to slant it in a way that it meshes with that of the school by still represents you accurately. Inject strong descriptive language that paints a picture of your professional personality.

Expert tip

If you’re looking for ideas on how to make the most of your summary section, you can find more resume example text in our related education resume examples . The general teacher resume sample is a good start, or check out our early childhood education example in the related resume section at the end of this blog.

Below is resume sample text for an elementary school teacher summary. 

Adaptable summary example

Experienced and certified Elementary School Teacher with over 5 years of experience teaching in diverse elementary classroom settings. Effective communicator proficient in developing and delivering lesson plans that emphasize Common Core Standards, and positive results. Adept in using differentiated curriculum to address the various learning styles and needs of students, while ensuring information retainment. Bringing forth excellent classroom management techniques, conducive to creating an environment best suited for learning and growing. Cooperative faculty member who productively collaborates with all levels of school staff, as well as with the families of students.


Employment history CV sample: you’re always learning

Writing your employment history on your CV is the equivalent to the detailed reports you give to parents and guardians during conferences. You want to polish your accomplishments with data-driven details. 

What do we mean by that?

We mean that instead of simply listing your job responsibilities, you want to impress your prospective school by telling about the curriculum you developed and how it increased student growth or helped a student have an academic breakthrough. You may also want to include creative projects you designed on your CV. Each bullet point should highlight a different skill or accomplishment.

Expert tip

The STAR method

One format for writing your bullet items is STAR:

  • Describe the situation
  • Tell what your task was
  • Explain the action you took
  • Focus on your result

For example: A new teacher asked for assistance with a fractions math unit. I discussed his unit plan with him, shared my feedback and had him observe my class. I then co-taught his class to get him started. At the end of the unit, his students made an average of 10% increases on AimsWeb testing in the fractions area after our meetings.

Use this resume example text to help guide your employment history section.

Adaptable employment history example
  • Developed and carried out a thoughtful and well-rounded curriculum for 32 students.
  • Wrote creative and engaging lesson plans to encourage student engagement and information retainment.
  • Collaborated with other faculty members to connect curriculum and deepen the value of what is being taught.
  • Ensured that state and school district curriculum standards were upheld.
  • Maintained records of student grades in accordance with school guidelines.
  • Formed positive relationships with students and family members to ensure the highest level of support for students.

Elementary school teacher resume education example: making the grade

It may seem too obvious, but education is very important to educators . Elementary school teachers need at least a bachelor’s degree as well as a license in their state. Many teachers earn master’s degrees or even doctorates. This is one career where adding your stellar GPA is a benefit.

You should list all your degrees here, but also include any seminars or workshops you have attended and any supplementary certificates you have earned.

Here is resume sample formatting for your education section.

Adaptable education example
  • 2001-2005 Hunter College, Bachelor of Literature NY, NY
  • 2005-2007 Boston College, Master of Science in Teaching Boston, MA

Resume skills example: summarize

What is the purpose of the skills section? It is a great way to give an at-a-glance view of your best attributes and to tell hiring managers what you think are the most important skills for a teacher to have.

Your first step is to make a list of all the skills and attributes you have. Then, you can choose the ones that fit each job the best by reviewing your analysis of the job description. Remember the ATS, but also choose skills that you want your employer to know are important to you.

Elementary school teachers need many interpersonal, or soft, skills, such as communication, listening, empathy and organization, but they also need hard skills such as curriculum expertise and methods for teaching reading and math. Be sure to include a mix in your 5-7 top-level skills.

Expert tip

Use the exact name of programs you have used if they appear in the job listing. If you are a Schoology expert, say so! If you have used Google Classroom, say that instead of “online learning experience.”

Use this resume example text below to get you started.

Adaptable resume skills example
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Curriculum and Instructional
  • Learning Differentiation
  • Modified Lesson Plans
  • Classroom Management
  • Project Management

Resume layout and design: neatness counts

What image do you want to project? Maybe as an elementary school teacher, you want to be a bit playful, but still professional. Your resume layout and design should be appropriate for the formal field of education . That means that you may want to add a bit of primary color, but not so much that it distracts from what you have to say. The goal of your resume is to get an interview, so while you may want your layout to look like a bulletin board, remember that you also want to show that you are an accomplished professional.

Keep it reader-friendly by sticking to legible fonts, leaving one-inch margins and creating contact information that stands out.

Try our resume templates to take the guesswork out of layout and formatting. After all, you don’t create all your curriculum from scratch. Instead, you modify it to suit your needs.

Key takeaways for an elementary school teacher resume

  • Elementary school teachers are in demand and, if you are willing to move, you can choose a teacher-friendly state.
  • Use your presentation skills to craft a personal summary that highlights your educational philosophy.
  • Differentiate your resume just as you do your curriculum.
  • Don't forget that a professional layout can make all the different in catching a hiring manager's attention

Resumes examples:


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