Career Choice

Who is a primary-school teacher?

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

A Primary-School teacher is responsible for the social, intellectual, physical and moral development of pupils in his or her class. This teacher works with one single class for the entire academic year and, thus, teaches a wide range of subjects on the national curriculum.

As a primary-school teacher, you will facilitate learning by establishing a relationship with pupils and creating a positive learning environment in the classroom. Primary-school teachers help students to build on the fundamentals they have learnt in basic or preschool to prepare them for the more difficult subjects and lessons in secondary school.


A typical day for a primary-school teacher may involve:
• Creating lesson plans.
• Assessing students to evaluate their abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
• Teaching lessons planned to an entire class or smaller groups.
• Marking exams, tests and homework.
• Communicating with parents about their children’s progress
• Working with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges.
• Preparing students for standardised tests.
• Developing and enforcing classroom rules.
• Supervising students outside of the classroom during lunchtime, after school or during detention.

While a primary-school teacher’s workday may be as short as five or six hours of contact time with students, this work is extremely intensive and requires constant concentration as well as creativity, energy and lots of preparation outside of teacher-student contact time.

If you are motivated to succeed, teaching can be a profoundly satisfying profession, as you can have a huge, positive impact on the lives of individual children and the community around the school.


Teaching is both intellectually and emotionally demanding. Passion and enthusiasm are a must; great communication skills, stamina, and a genuine desire to bring out the best in people are the perfect attributes for a primary-school teacher. As a primary-school teacher, you have to be willing and capable of covering a broad range of subjects each day.


A primary-school teacher can earn a median-level salary depending on the institution, whether private or public.


Most institutions require a teaching diploma or bachelor’s degree, or both. Other establishments may require a different level of education based on their wants and needs. The onus will be on you to do adequate research to ensure you attain what is necessary for the institution to which you apply.

• The Moneague College
• Church Teachers’ College
• Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College
• Bethlehem Moravian College
• The University of the West Indies
• The University of Technology
• The Mico University College
• Shortwood Teachers’ College
• St Joseph’s Teachers’ College

– Information provided by CHOICES Career & Education Advice

Continue reading for more on exciting careers for now and the future. Send your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about to Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice. Email:

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