Educator Job Description

By the simplest definition, educators teach people theoretical and practical knowledge relating to a specific subject. Educators include public school teachers of grades K-12, daycare teachers who focus on birth through 2 years old, preschool teachers, and college professors. While the duties and technical knowledge vary by subject and grade level, the work environment is similar. While academic institutions are the predominant employers of educators, they can be found in virtually any industry. Educators at the daycare and K-12 level work typical school hours with weekends, holidays, and summers off. College professors may do evening classes, but they typically have longer breaks between semesters.

Educators have some independence in how they operate their classrooms, depending on the hierarchical structure. In the K-12 setting, the educator’s boss is the principal. In higher education settings, the educator’s boss is the dean of the department. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for all types of educators is set to rise an average of 6 percent through 2024.


Educator Duties and Responsibilities

Although educating students sounds like a straightforward job, it includes many duties and responsibilities. While these duties vary based on education level, there are many that apply to all levels. The following is a general list of educator duties and responsibilities:

Plan and Prepare Lessons

Educators at all levels have to plan and prepare lessons for their students based on their subject matter expertise. In public school settings, this involves identifying the particular curriculum standard being taught, and then deciding how to teach the standard. Preparing for the lesson includes gathering all the materials necessary for any activity included in the lesson.

Deliver Lessons Based on State or Institutional Guidelines

Educators spend a majority of their time delivering their lessons to their students. They teach these lessons based on state guidelines if they teach in a public school setting. If they teach in a private school setting or higher education institution, they teach to the institution’s standards. This involves delivering lectures and facilitating student discussion.

Participate in Staff Meetings

Educators have to participate in regular staff meetings with other educators, parents, and administrators to strategize on how to best meet students’ needs.

Grade Student Work and Manage Student Concerns

Educators are responsible for grading student work and keeping track of grades to monitor student progress. They are also responsible for addressing student concerns related to their grades or understanding of the material.

Keep Students Engaged

This is a broad duty that has no specific procedure. This requires educators to have patience, compassion, and creativity, as well as the ability to connect with their students.


Educator Skills

The best educators have a unique blend of technical teaching skills and soft communication skills. Educators have to be creative and possess the ability to think on their feet, as no two days in the classroom are the same. Besides these qualities, here are some skills educators need to gain employment.

  • Using subject matter expertise to educate students and facilitate discussion
  • Creatively planning and organizing lesson plans based on established curriculum
  • Exhibiting passion for one’s craft by participating in professional development
  • Using public speaking and presentation skills to deliver engaging lessons on a daily basis
  • Maintaining classroom harmony through the use of interpersonal and conflict resolution skills


Educator Tools of the Trade

  • Microsoft Office – educators use Microsoft Office to create lesson plans, keep track of grades, and create presentations
  • Interactive whiteboard – educators use an interactive whiteboard to add multimedia to their lessons


Educator Education and Training

The education requirements for educators varies depending on the level of education they’re teaching and the kind of programs. Public school teachers have a bachelor’s degree in either primary or secondary education, as well as in their subject specialization. Those who want to work in a daycare setting specialize in birth-age 2. Those who want to work in higher education get masters and doctorate degrees in their chosen subject. All educators, regardless of level, have to pass a certification exam that varies by state.


Educator Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for educators is $50,294. Those at the bottom of the scale make $27,000, and those at the top of the scale make $78,000.


Educator Resources

There are plenty of exciting career opportunities within the field of education. Check out the resources list below if you think becoming an educator would be a rewarding career move.

National Education Association – The National Education Association focuses specifically on public school education. It has several conferences a year on both the local and national level. It updates its website regularly with information on the latest happenings in the world of public schools.

Association of American Educators – The Association of American Educators is the largest organization for educators in the country. Its membership comprises educators from all grade levels and the entire spectrum of subject matter. Its website has professional resources, a regularly updated blog, and several affiliated publications with articles on a variety of education topics.

EDSITEment – EDSITEment is an educational resource funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities. It contains hundreds of well-planned, interactive lesson plans for arts and culture, foreign languages, history and social studies, government, literature and language arts. It also has a student resource section that educators can use to supplement their lessons in the classroom.

The Answer Sheet – “The Answer Sheet” is a regular Washington Post column written by Valerie Strauss. Articles mostly cover educational policy, educational funding, and public versus private school debates.

Annenberg Learner – Annenberg Learner is a wonderful professional development resource for educators of all kinds. It offers an extensive database of lesson plans for all subjects and grades. It also has many interactive videos for each subject and grade level packed with specific tips for each. The blog is updated regularly.

Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity and Transform Your Life as an Educator – Based on Dave Burgess’s “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars, the book covers topics such as establishing rapport and teamwork in the classroom, increasing your passion, and creating a transformational experience for your students. It contains more than 170 brainstorming sessions and 30 actionable hooks educators can use in their classroom.


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