What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Elementary Students?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Teaching elementary students is a challenging job, but there are many good tips for making it easier and more effective. Among the best tips are those that recommend having patience with students and speaking to them in a respectful tone of voice. Avoiding monotony and taking extra care with organization can help as well. Additionally, putting effort into making learning fun may prove beneficial.

An old fashioned chalkboard in an elementary school classroom.
An old fashioned chalkboard in an elementary school classroom.

One of the best tips for teaching elementary students is to have patience. Sometimes younger students have a harder time grasping concepts the first or even the second time they are introduced to them. Becoming frustrated, however, will likely cause them upset and may even make them resistant to learning. Instead, relaxing and keeping patience in mind may make the classroom experience more pleasant and effective for both the teacher and his students.

Elementary school teachers often encourage participation from their students to ensure engagement in the lesson.
Elementary school teachers often encourage participation from their students to ensure engagement in the lesson.

Another good tip for teaching elementary students is to avoid monotony. Like adults, children can become bored with monotonous lessons or routines. To keep things interesting for students and encourage them to learn, a teacher may do well to shake things up with various teaching approaches or even a different location in which to learn. For example, if a teacher occasionally takes his students outside for a lesson or adds a video lesson to his traditional teaching plans, this may help keep things interesting. Sometimes, however, even using expressive voice tones rather than speaking in a monotonous tone of voice may help.

Being organized is also important when teaching elementary students. When students have to wait a long period of time for a teacher to find a lesson or accompanying materials, they may become restless and have a hard time sitting quietly. Having lessons and materials ready or at least within easy reach when children enter the classroom may help. Enlisting the students' help with organizing and distributing materials may prove helpful as well.

Teachers can also benefit from tips that recommend treating elementary students with respect. A teacher might need to use an authoritative tone of voice with his students but may do well to ensure that the tone is one of respectful authority. When teachers speak to students in a disrespectful way, they may create a persistently uncomfortable environment in the classroom. Additionally, speaking to children in such a manner may make it hard for them to learn.

A teacher may also benefit from elementary school teaching tips that suggest making learning fun. Children often pay more attention and retain more of what they learn when lessons include fun. For example, a teacher could include hands-on activities and games in his lesson plans in order to make learning more fun for his students. Even educational songs and classroom discussions can keep elementary school students interested.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


@KoiwiGal - The good thing about that kind of project-based learning is that it integrates different subjects into one task. So they might be learning history and composition at the same time, or combining science and mathematics or whatever.

Considering how much a teacher is supposed to fit into the day, this can only help.


@bythewell - I think a problem is that fundamental elementary lesson plans go about teaching the wrong way. They focus on activities that are supposedly "fun" (and sometimes are, sometimes aren't) and hope to sneak in knowledge at the same time.

But a student doing a crossword is learning how to do crosswords. They aren't learning about American history, even if the words are related to that.

If you want them to learn about American history you have to get them to do tasks from that era or relating to it. Writing a newspaper that would reflect the views of a specific colony, for example. Making a video presenting the daily activities of a specific Native tribe.

These are interesting tasks (particularly if you allow the students some choice in which ones they do) and will involve enough research into details that the students will end up learning everything they need to know.


Something that always annoys me is when teachers think that they happen to have bad students and that's why they can't learn anything. All kids want to learn and are capable of learning. If your students aren't learning then it's up to you to change so that they will.

For some reason teachers seem to think it's up to the students to change their desires and abilities to suit the teacher and that's just not how life works. The point of education is to educate and if you can't do that you should look for another job.

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