Primary school educators play a vital role in the development of young people. What children learn and experience during their early years can shape their views of themselves and the world and can determine their later success or failure in school, work, and can affect their personal lives.
Primary school educators introduce children to mathematics, language, science, and social studies. They use games, music, artwork, books, computers and other tools to teach basic skills. Educators at primary level generally teach all subjects and are generalist rather than specialist educators, as the primary curriculum is an integrated curriculum.
The work of primary school educators is challenging because each learner is different and often a learner will require individual support and encouragement. By the same token educators are required to enforce discipline in the classroom in order to create an environment conducive to learning. They should also be able to respond to evidence of child abuse and neglect and be able to cope with emergencies.
An educator’s day does not end when the final bell rings and a good deal of time out of school hours is spent preparing lessons as well as keeping up with new developments in specific subjects or in education as a whole. Primary school educators are required to do a fair amount of administrative work such as setting examination papers, marking answer sheets, marking homework, completion of registers and the drawing up of schedules and writing of reports.
They discuss their learners’ progress and concerns with parents at parent / educator interviews. They are also expected to plan and organise extracurricular activities such as sporting events, cultural activities, tours, camps and outings to places of interest.
The work can be very rewarding and educators are providing a valuable service to the community, which can be demanding and pressurised at times but equally rewarding at other times. It is possible for primary school educators to branch into more specialised areas such as remedial teaching, etc.